PRC Gives No Decision on Periodicals Rate Overhaul

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A proposal by a coalition of large commercial publishers for a radical revamping of the rate structure for Periodicals will get no recommended decision by the Postal Rate Commission to be acted on by the USPS Board of Governors.

The PRC said last week it won't get involved in a dispute between the U.S. Postal Service and five large publishing companies involving a request to revamp the postal rate structure for Periodicals mail.

In the Jan. 12, 2004, filing, publishers Time Warner, Condé Nast, Reader's Digest, Newsweek and TV Guide wanted the USPS to create a stripped-down basic rate structure. In general, large Periodicals mailers would benefit more than smaller ones under this plan.

In February, the postal service asked the PRC to dismiss the complaint, saying "the concerns raised [in the complaint] do not require any substantive response by the commission at this time."

After consideration, the PRC said "the existing rate structure for Periodicals mail is not violative of the policies of the Postal Reorganization Act ..."

The PRC said the proposal would harm thousands of small publications, but that "progress toward a more cost-based structure is both possible and necessary to increase efficiencies in the Periodicals rates." The PRC said it is the postal service's responsibility to improve the efficiency of Periodicals consistent with rates that don't affect any segment unreasonably.

Melissa Campanelli covers postal news, CRM and database marketing for DM News and To keep up with the latest developments in these areas, subscribe to our daily and weekly e-mail newsletters by visiting

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