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Royal Mail sell-off moves a step closer

Proposed legislation allowing the privatisation of Royal Mail has passed through the House of Commons.

Royal Mail: Commons approves privatisation bill

Royal Mail: Commons approves privatisation bill

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The coalition Government's Postal Services Bill passed its third reading in the Commons yesterday (12 January), with 319 MPs voting in favour and 238 against.

There was a failed attempt to amend the bill to force Royal Mail to guarantee its custom for 10 years to the Post Office, which would remain state-owned.

The bill provides for the regulation of Royal Mail to be passed from Postcomm to media and telecoms regulator Ofcom, which will be expected to maintain a sustainable and efficient universal postal service, while deregulating more quickly in competitive parts of the market.

It also provides for up to 10% of shares to be transferred to Royal Mail employees.

The bill now requires the approval of the House of Lords before becoming law.

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