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PRC Sets Hearings for Periodicals Complaint

The Postal Rate Commission will hold hearings June 29 and June 30 on a proposal filed earlier this year by a coalition of large commercial publishers that called for a radical revamping of the postal rate structure for periodicals.

The PRC also asked participants to reserve July 1 for completion of the hearings.

In the Jan. 12 filing, publishers such as Time Warner, Conde Nast Publications, Reader's Digest Association, Newsweek and TV Guide Magazine Group proposed to study periodicals rates, conduct hearings on the topic and issue a plan for an alternative periodicals rate schedule to the U.S. Postal Service's Board of Governors.

The publishers seek approval by the USPS to take over more mail outsourcing work from the postal service in exchange for cheaper mailing rates.

The structure the publishers advocate is often called bottom-up pricing. In general, large periodicals mailers support this concept and smaller ones do not.

The USPS asked the PRC in February to dismiss the complaint, stating that “the concerns raised [in the complaint] do not require any substantive response by the commission at this time.”

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