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Competitors Appeal Tabloid Ruling

January 26, 2000

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A group of newspaper publishers has appealed a federal judge’s decision that allowed a new competitor to continue distributing newspapers at area train, subway and bus stops.

The publishers of The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Philadelphia Daily News, The New York Times and USA Today contend that Metro enjoys an unfair advantage because of an unconstitutional agreement with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority.

The appeal was filed Tuesday as the tabloid published its second edition.

The other newspapers argue that Metro’s contract with SEPTA is unconstitutional because it allows a government agency to assert control over a newspaper and allows the free paper to be distributed where other publications cannot be sold.

U.S. District Judge Robert F. Kelly denied the newspapers a temporary restraining order Monday, saying they failed to show that they would suffer ``immediate and irreparable harm″ if the order was not granted.

The newspapers appealed Kelly’s decision to the 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and filed a motion seeking an injunction barring the distribution of Metro pending the appeal.

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