Editor’s Note: The headline on this story has been corrected. An acquisition agreement has not yet been reached, according to the report.
The acquisition is not entirely unexpected. Amazon acquired a 25 percent in Colis Privé in 2014, and some analysts and pundits predicted the retailer would eventually take full possession. At least one of Le Monde’s sources was Philippe Wahl, president of La Poste, the government-controlled parcel company.
At an annual meeting to disclose La Poste’s earnings performance, Wahl said, “Amazon is our biggest customer. It is in the process of becoming our largest competitor.”
If Wahl sounds slightly stunned about Amazon’s move, it’s no wonder. The acquisition is part of Amazon’s recent all-out blitz on package-delivery companies. These former partners can expect Amazon to continue scaling back orders. Seattle-based Amazon has acquired access to cargo jets and ships. The retailer has bought delivery vans, and is building a drone-delivery service. Just last week, newspapers in Europe noted that Amazon is hiring staff to expand its network of lockers, where customers can retrieve packages.
What Amazon’s ultimate plans are for all these delivery units is unclear. Nobody knows whether Amazon intends to create a delivery service to compete directly against UPS, Fedex and other package deliverers, or just reduce the company’s high-delivery costs. Earlier this month, the web’s top retailer reported net-shipping costs reached an all-time high of $1.85 billion during the fourth quarter of 2015, and surpassed $5 billion for the full year.