Appeals court upholds temporary hike in postal rate

WASHINGTON (AP) – A federal appeals court has upheld a temporary rate hike in the price of sending mail, but says the US Postal Service can’t make the increase permanent.

The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit on Friday said the Postal Regulatory Commission was justified in 2013 when it allowed rates to jump by 4.3 percent on top of the usual 1.7 percent increase for inflation.

The Postal Service said the emergency hike was needed to offset losses from the recession of 2007-2009.

The ruling is a loss for heavy mailers, including newspaper and magazine publishers, catalog retailers and direct-mail advertisers that argued the main cause of the Postal Service’s losses was increased use of the Internet.

The higher rate is expected to end later this year.

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