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Positive Development in Effort to Protect Yellow Pages Delivery in San Francisco

Last week, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals issued an order related to our lawsuit against the City of San Francisco to overturn its controversial new law, which effectively bans the distribution of Yellow Pages.

The federal appeals court summarily reversed a decision of the lower U.S. District Court in San Francisco that had denied the Local Search Association’s request for a preliminary injunction against San Francisco’s Yellow Pages ordinance.

The Local Search Association had asked the U.S. District Court to halt the implementation of San Francisco’s ordinance until Yellow Pages’ publishers concerns could be heard. However, because the City of San Francisco committed to not enforce its ordinance until the U.S. Court of Appeals ruled on the Local Search Association’s appeal in the Seattle case, the U.S. District Court refused to grant an injunction against the San Francisco ordinance.

The Court of Appeals’ order means that the lower court is now required to decide whether the San Francisco ordinance likely violates the First Amendment rights of Yellow Pages publishers without waiting for a decision in the Seattle case – which is expected any day.

We continue to look forward to what we anticipate will be positive outcomes in both San Francisco and Seattle. As we’ve said previously, our advertisers in these markets depend on Yellow Pages advertising to generate business, and residents rely on phone directories to help them find and shop from local businesses. Yellow Pages publishers need decisions in both the San Francisco and Seattle cases in order to do their jobs of supporting local businesses, as well as their own employees.

While the cases in San Francisco and Seattle continue, we are successfully working with numerous municipalities to address concerns about Yellow Pages distribution by highlighting the benefits of our sustainability programs. In California alone, we’ve recently partnered with legislators in Fremont, Cupertino, Morgan Hill, San Leandro, Alameda and Hayward to raise awareness about our consumer choice website, www.YellowPagesOptOut.com. We continue to believe that our programs achieve better outcomes than legislation that limits Yellow Pages delivery, which inhibits the ability of local businesses and consumers to find one another.

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