PPA victory in price campaign

Publishers
have claimed a major victory in the battle to protect the magazine’s
journey from printer to letterbox, after plans to allow price rises on
delivery service Presstream were scaled back by watchdog Postcomm.

As
part of the shake-up of the postal market, Postcomm has been pushing
for deregulation of the Presstream system, claiming that enough
potential competition exists in the market to keep prices low.

But
the watchdog announced last week that it would retain price controls on
Presstream 1 – the next-day delivery service used by weekly magazines –
for a further four years following detailed reports from publishers’
body the PPA, which claimed the market was not ready for deregulation.

However, Presstream 2, used by monthly titles, will still be deregulated under current proposals.

PPA
chief executive Ian Locks said: “This is clearly very good news for
timesensitive magazines that rely totally on Presstream 1 to reach the
market.

“However, we remain concerned by Postcomm’s proposal to
go ahead and remove all price controls from Presstream 2, thereby
exposing the many publishers who use this service.

“Any
assessment by Postcomm of market conditions should be based on the
current position, not future prospects of competition, and we have
presented robust evidence to demonstrate the current lack of realistic
alternatives.”

The proposals are currently undergoing a consultation period, due to end in March.

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