Landmark Victories

ADP Is An Important Voice for Independent Directory Publishers

 

Time and time again, the Association has influenced lawmakers on such key issues as access to listing information and prohibiting policies at the expense of independent publishers.

 
 
 
Judicial Influence
 At the time of the break-up of the Bell System in early ‘80s, the incumbent wireline companies attempted to maintain their monopoly on the local Yellow Pages markets by erecting barriers to new competition—particularly from emerging independent publishers.
 
After years of the phone companies' attempts to thwart of competition, Great Western Directories, a Texas-based independent publisher, sued Southwestern Bell for antitrust violations after the phone company raised its listings price in an effort to force Great Western out of business.
 
A few years later in Kansas, another lawsuit was filed by Feist Publications, suing Rural Telephone Service Co. over its refusal to sell its listings to the independent publisher. Rural countersued for copyright infringement.
 
ADP took a leadership position in the court proceedings, filing an amicus brief, in support of the action.
 
The case eventually reached the U.S.. Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of Feist, holding that subscriber listing information was not copyrightable and therefore open to use by independent publishers.
 
Legislative Influence
Beginning in 1991, ADP led a five-year effort to have guarantees of access to listings at reasonable rates included in the Telecommunications Act of 1996. Again our efforts were successful, resulting in the inclusion of such protections in section 222(e) of the Act.
 
Regulatory Influence
Following that legislative victory, ADP petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to establish a rulemakingon the definiton of "reasonable rates."
 
The Association’s leadership was again successful, with the FCC establishing presumptatively reasonable rates of $.04 per base file listings and $.06 per updated listings.
 
The victory, in terms of savings on listings costs, has infact "prepaid" the annual membership dues of all Publisher members forever. The Association will continue to monitor all public policy issues that arise.
 
Read more below about the key policy decisions that the Association helped shape.
 
Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Company
 
Review Section 222(e), the FCC, and “Reasonable” Terms, Conditions and Prices
 
 
Questions about these landmark cases? Please email us at hq@adp.org, or call 800 267-9002