April 6, 2018 / 9:56 AM / 18 days ago

EU approves tax relief scheme for French postal service

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Commission on Friday approved a local tax relief scheme worth up to about 900 million euros ($1.1 billion) to help French post office La Poste maintain its high-density coverage of postal services between 2018 and 2022.

The logo of French postal service company La Poste is seen on a post office in Paris, France, March 28, 2018. REUTERS/Charles Platiau/File Photo

In exchange for the support, which is given through tax incentives, La Poste will continue to operate some 9,500 outlets across the country, including rural areas, with post offices gradually being replaced by partnerships by shops and town halls.

The Commission, which oversees competition policy in the European Union, said the scheme helped the postal service to fulfill an important role without distorting competition.

“The Commission’s assessment showed that the scheduled compensation did not exceed the amount needed to cover the net cost of this public-service mission,” the Commission said in a statement.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; editing by Philip Blenkinsop

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