Norwegian Post, or Posten Norge, is the official postal service of Norway. It held a monopoly on delivering letters nationwide until 2016 and is owned by the Norwegian Ministry of Transport and Communications. Posten has a long history dating back to 1647 when it was established as Postvesenet by Postmaster General Henrik Morian. While initially a private company approved by King Christian IV, ownership eventually passed to the state in 1719, and the national postal service became a state monopoly. The Postal Act 1888 extended this monopoly to the entire country while city postal services remained private. In 1933, Postvesenet was renamed Postwerket, and in 1996, Posten Norge BA became a public limited company owned by the Norwegian state. In 2002, Posten changed its corporate structure to a joint stock company in anticipation of the deregulation of the Norwegian postal market, but the government postponed the process until 2011. Today, Posten Norge AS is entirely owned by the Norwegian state.