Research into effective regulation of the postal sector

Realized in The Netherlands

Research into effective regulation of the postal sector

The government regulates the Dutch postal sector. Rebel has supported the ministry several times in its efforts to shape this market, focusing on public goals such as affordability, accessibility and future-proofing.

The challenge

The postal sector is a complex system consisting of both regulated and unregulated parts. The industry is undergoing a transformation due to the fact that we are writing fewer letters nowadays, but receiving more packages. An ongoing understanding of the workability of the regulatory system is therefore necessary.

The Approach

We conduct regular reviews, for example of the Universal Service Obligation (Universele Postdienst, UPD; in 2017 and again in 2021) and of the Postal Regulations (Postregeling, in 2013). In addition, as part of the Postal Dialogue, we examined the cost savings that could be achieved through consolidating the ‘last mile’ of mail delivery, and examined whether the Postal Regulation would need to be amended following this consolidation.

Our role in these investigations is that of an independent expert. We conduct interviews with all stakeholders, and provide independent advice to the Ministry of Economic Affairs.

In doing so, we are always mindful of the specific circumstances of this market. Specifically, regulating a shrinking market without the regulation itself accelerating the shrinkage, is complicated. All market participants, whether large or small, must be able to sustain a revenue model. But at the same time, services must remain accessible and attainable to customers.


Market regulation decisions can be made based on the best available information.