Denies Mailer Groups Procedure Changes
The Postal Regulatory Commission ruled against mail industry groups seeking to change the procedures of the PRC’s rate review, a victory for the USPS as it seeks removal of rate hike price-caps and more pricing freedom.
The PRC is required by law to review the system for regulating rates and classes for Market Dominant products established in 2006. The PRC must determine whether it’s achieving the objectives established by Congress. If it finds the objectives are not being met, it has the authority to propose rules that modify the system or adopt an alternative system to achieve the objectives.
The Postal Service wants the PRC to find the objectives have not been met, ushering in the removal of inflation-based annual price caps on postage rate hikes.
Business mailers, who have seen modest price hikes in the low-inflation environment of the last several years, want the price-caps to remain along with regulatory oversight. Their motions would have delayed the PRC’s review.
In this first battle of the postage rate war, the USPS won.
“The Postal Service notes that it strongly supports the current approach because it is more conducive to a timely resolution of this proceeding,” the PRC states in its order denying the mailers’ motions, agreeing with the USPS position.
“To be clear, at this stage in the proceeding, the Commission has not made any determinations as to whether or not the ratemaking system is achieving its objectives,” the PRC writes.
The PRC ordered:
— The Motion of Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers and MPA — The Association of Magazine Media to Modify Procedural Schedule, filed January 17, 2017, is denied.
– The Joint Motion for Modification of Procedural Framework, filed by the American Catalog Mailers Association, Inc., the American Forest & Paper Association, the Association for Postal Commerce, the Data & Marketing Association, the Envelope Manufacturers Association, the Greeting Card Association, IDEAlliance, the Major Mailers Association, the National Association of Presort Mailers, the National Newspaper Association, the National Postal Policy Council, the News Media Alliance, the Parcel Shippers Association, and the Saturation Mailers Coalition on January 18, 2017, is denied.