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Swiss Post is bound by clear federal requirements with respect to pricing. The prices for services under universal service need to be set in accordance with economic principles and must be unified and not related to distance. This is prescribed by the Postal Services Act. International comparisons show that Swiss Post customers benefit from especially affordable prices for letters and parcels.
The pricing requirements in the residual monopoly are the strictest: Swiss Post must set prices for domestic letters under 50 grams in a manner which is “non-distance-related, covers costs, is appropriate and follows uniform principles” as per the Postal Services Act. The prices for domestic letters up to 50 grams are to be approved by the Swiss Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), including prior consultation with the price regulator. The last adjustment to letter prices was made in 2004.
The prices for services which are not within the monopoly but which form part of the universal service obligation must be set in accordance with economic principles. This affects letters over 50 grams, parcels up to 20 kilograms, as well as newspapers and magazines. Distance-independent prices is also a key principle and is regularly verified by PostCom.
The Confederation also contributes an annual subsidy of CHF 50 million to reduce the prices of newspapers and magazines. Swiss Post passes the subsidies on to the publishers through a reduction in price per newspaper copy. The Confederation intends to promote the press through this action and maintain diversity of opinion.