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Business publishers win rate debate

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The Postal Rate Commission last month denied a complaint filed by publishers Conde Nast, Newsweek, Reader's Digest, Time Warner and TV Guide that contended the current rate structure for periodicals is unlawful.

The commission agreed with American Business Media and McGraw-Hill Cos. that the existing structure is not unlawful but said it could be improved. The complaint was filed in January 2004.

McGraw-Hill and ABM presented testimony from Crain Communications Inc., publisher of Media Business; Hanley Wood; McGraw-Hill; and VNU to support their position.

The companies contended that had the complaint gone through, it would have had a substantially adverse impact on small publications.

Gordon Hughes II, ABM president-CEO, said in a statement that the organization was "quite pleased with the decision and gratified that the Postal Rate Commission continues to safeguard the interests of smaller-circulation periodicals."

-Carol Krol

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