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Arguing that local and state “opt-out” requirements for Yellow Pages delivery would cripple local businesses and force industry layoffs, the Yellow Pages Association has successfully fought and beat back opt-out requirements this year in some states, reports YPA President Neg Norton.

But the industry must still contend with additional opt-out efforts in other states, as well as legislation in Oregon that would limit distribution to just one book unless there is a specific request for additional editions — an unmanageable and anti-competitive situation that doesn’t recognize the free market rivalry between incumbent and independent directories. “I don’t need to spell out the impact” of such a bill if it passed, said Norton.

Of equally grave concern to the industry is a mandatory opt-out ordinance that has passed in Albany, N.Y., that would require distributors to be licensed. In passing the ordinance, the city council cited sloppy distribution, a high volume of complaints and that there was no way to opt out, said Norton. “Albany should be a wake-up to manage prudently, or face the consequences,” he said.

Meanwhile, the YPA is seeking to pre-empt mandatory opt-outs via the launch of “We’ve had a positive response,” said Norton. “But the information is only as good as what the publishers provide to us.”

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Great write-up, Peter. Also, kudos to the YPA for the launch of If I’m reading correctly, Norton is suggesting that it’s valuable for households to receive print books from multiple publishers each year?

  2. Hi Paul: Thanks for writing in. The YPA doesn’t see how the Yellow Pages industry can exist if legislators are picking one book that gets to be delivered….it is not exactly a natural monopoly, is it? (!)

  3. Peter, it seems like the new website is nothing but a redirect to individual directory opt-out contact information. I’m not sure what value, or than a press release for the industry, has been created through this $8 investment.

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