Competing With the Mailman? e.bill (08/00) Vol. 2, No. 4 p.20; Smith, Claudia
The U.S. Internet Industry Association (USIIA) has
asked Congress to limit the involvement of the United States
Postal Service (USPS) in e-commerce. The agency recently pled
its case in a letter to congressional lawmakers who have
oversight of USPS. In the letter, USIIA expressed concern over
the USPS plan to further its foothold in the e-commerce industry.
Specifically, the USIIA wants Congress to minimize the reach of
new programs the USPS intends to launch in direct competition
with other segments of private industry. They include the
mapping of physical addresses to an "official" USPS email
address, electronic bill presentment and payment services, and a
new electronic postmark program that will debut before private
sector initiatives for digital signatures. The USIIA has also
called into question whether a conflict of interest may exist.
In the letter, USIIA notes that the USPS' traditional role has
been that of a regulator. In light of the agency's current
exemption from anti-trust considerations, USIIA says that it
remains to be seen whether USPS should be allowed to dominate
services it may also seek to regulate.