Department of Justice Will Not Challenge Commercial Mailing Pricing Aggregation Service
The Department of Justice announced today that it will not challenge a proposal by corporate affiliates Amadeus Group LLC (Amadeus) and Mystic Logistics LLC (Mystic) for Amadeus to offer a pricing aggregation service to subscribers that are involved in the commercial mailing business. The department’s position was stated in a business review letter to counsel for Amadeus and Mystic from Acting Assistant Attorney General Renata B. Hesse for the Antitrust Division.
According to representations made by Amadeus and Mystic, Amadeus’s service would allow a subscriber to upload details about a particular commercial mailing job, including subscriber data for the specific job request and third party data, such as pricing and other information, related to the job request. The Amadeus pricing algorithm then would calculate various postage, packaging and transportation options that the subscriber could use to fulfill its job, allowing the subscriber to choose the most efficient logistics and pricing for its bulk commercial mailing.
Although exchanging price and other competitive information can facilitate anticompetitive coordination among competitors, Amadeus and Mystic have designed the proposed service to prevent such information sharing. To this end, the proposed service will contain numerous safeguards to ensure that neither the nonpublic information a subscriber provides to the service nor the commercial mailing options provided by the service to a subscriber will be shared with other subscribers or with third parties. Additionally, although Mystic provides transportation support services for commercial mailings in competition with third parties whose transportation support services data and pricing information might be uploaded by a subscriber, the Amadeus service will include encryption protection to ensure that neither Amadeus nor Mystic can access that third-party information.
Based on the information submitted and representations made by Amadeus and Mystic, the department has no present intention to challenge the operation of Amadeus’s proposed pricing aggregation service.
Under the department’s business review procedure, an organization may submit a proposed action to the Antitrust Division and receive a statement as to whether the division currently intends to challenge the action under the antitrust laws based on the information provided. The department reserves the right to challenge the proposed action under the antitrust laws if it produces anticompetitive effects.
A file containing the business review request and the department’s response may be examined in the Antitrust Documents Group of the Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 1010, Washington, D.C. 20530. After a 30-day waiting period, the documents supporting the business review will be added to the file, unless a basis for their exclusion for reasons of confidentiality has been established under the business review procedure.