Yellow Pages Suffers Seattle Setback on Eve of San Francisco Vote

The Yellow Pages industry has failed to win a preliminary injunction or restraining order from a U.S. District Court in Seattle. This mean the Seattle opt-out ordinance can move forward as the industry pursues its lawsuit seeking to have the ordinance ruled unconstitutional. This decision doesn’t mean the lawsuit will fail, but it does seem to suggest victory is not assured. The industry can either just carry on with the suit or appeal the District Court decision to the 9th Circuit Court in San Francisco.

The Seattle lawsuit, filed by the Local Search Association, Dex One and SuperMedia, followed passage of an opt-out measure by the Seattle city council.

Tomorrow, the San Francisco Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on an opt-in measure, which had been delayed pending a report on the proposed ordinance’s impact on small businesses. The Yellow Pages industry rallied all of the affected constituencies, including unions and small businesses, to oppose the opt-in ordinance. This effort led to delay for further study. Whether it’s enough to stave off final passage remains to be seen.

On Monday, the San Francisco Bay Guardian published an online poll asking consumers to weigh in on the opt-in ordinance. Both the Association of Directory Publishers and the Local Search Association sent email alerts to their members, asking them to vote in the poll. Whether the poll results will have any influence on Tuesday’s vote is unclear.

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