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ABM Holds Firm in USPS Rate Case as Settlement Talks Continue

Monday, December 10, 2001

Press release from the issuing company

Refusing to concede a postage rate principle for which it has fought successfully for decades, American Business Media, in an open letter to Postmaster General John Potter, informed the Postal Service that it cannot agree to a rate settlement that the agency has proposed. The November 27 letter from American Business Media Chairman Guy Wendler (Stamats Communications) and President & CEO Gordon Hughes explained that American Business Media members, who collectively spend $300 million on Periodicals postage alone, "take a back seat to no one in their concern with the Postal Service's financial difficulties." Nevertheless, the letter continued, the proposal "would break with long and venerable tradition by eliminating the flat editorial pound rate that assures that editorial content will pay the same postage no matter where it is mailed to or from." The letter explained that American Business Media's members, dependent upon the Postal Service for delivery, recognize that their rates may have to increase more or sooner than previously thought as a result of the current problems. They are not willing, however, to allow the Postal Service's financial needs to bury a principle that has been attacked by powerful interests but defended successfully by American Business Media in five separate cases before the Postal Rate Commission since 1976. Despite American Business Media's having drawn this line in the sand, we are continuing discussions with MPA, other Periodicals mailers and the Postal Service to see if we can reach agreement on a modified rate design acceptable to all. We have proposed a solution that would both enhance drop ship incentives, thus creating new drop ship opportunities for those publications that can avoid costly and inefficient Postal Service transportation and handling, and retain the flat editorial rate that has always been a hallmark of Periodicals mail. We should know within a few days whether that effort has succeeded.




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