Redeker Sellner Dahs successful before the Federal Administrative Court in landmark proceedings on behalf of Post AG

Legal action against fee authorisations only possible within a period of one year

Berlin, 14 June 2024. Redeker Sellner Dahs has obtained two landmark rulings for its long‑​standing client Deutsche Post AG before the Federal Administrative Court. On 12 June 2024, the Federal Administrative Court upheld the judgments handed down by Cologne Administrative Court dismissing the claims in two appeals proceedings. According to the High Court, actions brought by postal customers seeking annulment of a postal fee approval are only admissible within a period of one year following publication of the approved fees in the Federal Network Agency's official gazette.
The two plaintiffs are customers of Deutsche Post AG which must have their postage authorised by the Federal Network Agency in accordance with Section 19 of the Postal Act (PostG). Deutsche Post AG also received the authorisations for the regulatory periods at issue here, from 2016 to 2019 and 2019 to 2021. The fee approvals of 4 December 2015 and 12 December 2019 were published in the Official Gazette of the Federal Network Agency in accordance with Section 22 of the Postal Act. The plaintiffs utilised postal services for the approved fees during the fee periods in dispute. They only filed an action against the fee approvals at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, however.
Contrary to the Cologne Administrative Court's assessment that the plaintiffs had forfeited their right to take action in accordance with the principle of good faith, which also applies in public law, the Federal Administrative Court has held that the plaintiffs' actions are inadmissible because they are time‑​barred. The actions had to be filed no later than one year after their publication in the Official Gazette, which the plaintiffs had failed to do. Press release from the Federal Administrative Court.
Dr Stephan Gerstner has been advising and acting as counsel for Deutsche Post AG for many years on price and access regulation by the Federal Network Agency. He is also an author in Beck'schen Kommentar zum Postgesetz.

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