EU takes Germany to court over Deutsche Post state aid

BRUSSELS Wed Nov 20, 2013 5:45am EST

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BRUSSELS Nov 20 (Reuters) - European Union state aid regulators took legal action against Germany on Wednesday for failing to recover millions of euros in state aid granted to Deutsche Post last year.

The European Commission, tasked with ensuring a level playing field in the 28-country bloc, said last year that the combination of high regulated prices and pension subsidies granted by Germany gave Deutsche Post an unfair advantage over rivals.

The EU competition authority said German authorities subsequently recovered an amount from Europe's biggest mail and express delivery company that was significantly lower than its estimate. It did not specify the amount that Deutsche Post should repay.

"While Germany only identified commercial post related services (e.g. sale of stamps and envelops or advertising mail) as non-regulated, the Commission services consider that the business-to-business parcel services are also non-price regulated," it said.

"The Commission therefore asked Germany to recover the aid corresponding to these services. Germany repeatedly refused to do so."

The case will be heard at the Luxembourg-based EU Court of Justice, Europe's top court. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)

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