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Postal service gets OK for 'junk mail' discount plan

The government body that oversees the U.S. Postal Service is approving a plan that gives one of the nation's largest direct marketers a postage discount on advertising flyers.

The three-year deal approved by the Postal Regulatory Commission is intended to boost use of the mail system by Valassis Communications Inc., which sends mass coupon mailings to homes under its RedPlum ad bundles.

The commission said the plan should add $4.7 million to $15.3 million to Postal Service coffers over the course of the deal.

Many of the nation's newspapers oppose the plan, which gives a rate cut to its biggest competitor. The Newspaper Association of America said that for a meager benefit, about $1 billion in annual newspaper industry ad revenue could be put at risk. 

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