On January 12, 2021, the News Media Alliance and the National Newspaper Association filed a motion joining a legal challenge to a Postal Regulatory Commission (PRC) final rule that removes a statutory price cap, that Congress approved with the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act in 2006, that tied annual postal rate increases to the Consumer Price Index.
As a result of this inflation-based price cap, increases averaged roughly 2 percent per year over the last 14 years. Under the new pricing system, USPS could increase Periodical rates for newspaper issues by as much as 9 percent and Marketing Mail (Total Market Coverage products) by as much as 7 percent per year for the next five years. This means that some newspapers could see their postage bill increase by 45 percent.
A large group of mailers that use the USPS for the delivery of Market Dominant products (First Class, Periodicals and Marketing Mail) have joined together to legally challenge the PRC’s final rule. The News Media Alliance and NNA filed its own motion to intervene in this case so that we could express a unified industry position before the DC Circuit Court of Appeals that describes the negative consequences of this decision on newspapers – both large and small markets, daily and weekly. By current law, Congress is required to make any decision to change the statutory rate cap for Market Dominant Mail, not the regulator. In addition, the elimination of the rate cap will have a long-term, damaging impact on newspapers and other mailers – at precisely the wrong time – and ultimately degrade USPS’ finances over the long-term.
Scroll down to view articles related to the legal challenge, as well as detailed blog posts outlining the implications of the new PRC rule for news publishers, and other postal rate stories.