Presstream result hailed as 'victory for common sense'

Publishers have won a surprise victory in the battle to keep price controls on Presstream, the special postage service for magazines.

The postal regulator, Postcomm, announced this week that Presstream 2, the second-class service used for many monthly magazines, would continue under price capping. The watchdog has already backed down on plans to remove price controls on Presstream 1, the first-class service used by most weekly magazines.

In a statement, Postcomm said: "It has been demonstrated during the consultation that effective competition does not yet exist, and does not appear imminent, in this important market segment."

The PPA, which has been lobbying on the issue, said the decision was "a victory for common sense".

Ian Locks, PPA chief executive, said: "This avoids what would have been a gross injustice. and enables all subscription- orientated magazine publishers to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

"As an association we did all we could to make the case that removing price regulation from our sector alone would have been gravely damaging."

Keith Jones, chairman of the PPA postal strategy group and chief executive of Reed Business Information, said: "Open competition only exists when there are real competitors out there.

"This is the argument we emphasised to Postcomm and this is why a consensus of opinion had developed supporting our position, across Parliament and in other consumer bodies."

The PPA has been involved in a lengthy lobbying campaign, encouraging members to write to their local MPs expressing concern about the regulator’s proposals.

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