AusPost pins future hopes on digital post as snail mail loses $148m

Australia Post chief executive Ahmed Fahour told a Senate Estimates hearing that the Federal Court was wrong not to have ruled against the name ‘Digital Post Australia’, the brand chosen by joint venture rivals Computershare and Fuji Xerox.

“The initial injunction that we sought [in April] unfortunately was not successful. We believe a huge injustice has occurred and, therefore, we are appealing the decision,” he said at the 16 October hearing.

“We are waiting for our opportunity to be heard on the appeal in regards to somebody else feeling the need to use our name to prop up their business.”

Australia Post announced its digital postbox service, Digital MailBox, in March. The news came 11 days after Salmat and Computershare announced they had joined with US developer Zumbox to form Digital Post Australia (DPA). Fujifilm subsequently took over Salmat’s stake after buying its BPO business, bringing it under the Fuji Xerox banner.

[Analysis: Online mail makes a statement]

Fahour also told the Senate Estimates hearing that the national carrier was delivering 17% less mail than four years ago and that its traditional business had lost $148 million last year. However, he said Digital MailBox would turn a profit.

“The good news is everybody wins. You get the service delivery – citizens get it for free – and, for corporates and governments, it is a substantially cheaper process to deliver mail through your digital mailbox than it is through the physical mail,” he said.

“I am not intending to hook our future to a business which has lost $148 million. We need to secure our future. Our future is in parcels and digital communication.”

[LinkedIn: Will digital post kill off printed post?]

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