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I. Background During the last 20 years the postal sector has been one of the major battlefields in State aid control. Postal services are of significant economic importance: the European Commission estimates that the overall EU postal sector, comprising letter post, parcel and express services, had earned total revenues of about EUR 72 billion in 2009 which would correspond to approximately 0.62 % of the EU-27 GDP. Around 1.5m people are employed by postal service providers. Postal services are, of course, of pivotal importance both for business and private individuals. [1] The postal service sector is a prime example of a traditional service of general economic interest (SGEI). One of its characteristics is the fact that historically, postal incumbents have been entrusted by public

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