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November 16, 2011 at 1:22 PM

Yellow pages companies appeal to 9th circuit court

Publishers of the yellow pages are taking to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals their legal challenge to a law that allows Seattle residents to opt out of receiving the phone books.

The appeal was filed Monday by Dex Media West, SuperMedia LLC and the Yellow Pages Association (now known as the Local Search Association.)

The companies argue that the Seattle opt-out registry, adopted by the City Council in October 2010, violates their First Amendment rights and unfairly discriminates against their ability to engage in commerce.

A federal judge in June ruled that the opt-out ordinance did not violate the companies’ free speech rights. He further ruled that the benefits to the city in waste reduction, resident privacy and cost recovery outweighed any burdens placed on the publishers’ interstate commerce rights.

The law, believed to be the first of its kind in the country, imposes a 14-cent fee for every book delivered. The companies also can be fined up to $125 if they deliver books to someone who has used a city website to say they don’t want to receive the yellow pages.

Comments | More in Government | Topics: appeal, court, Seattle

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