ABC court battle put off in search for deal

Times Newspapers and the Telegraph Group have postponed their court battle with the Audit Bureau of Circulations to see if an out-of-court settlement can be reached.

Times Newspapers and the Telegraph Group have postponed their court

battle with the Audit Bureau of Circulations to see if an out-of-court

settlement can be reached.



A one-week adjournment of the case has been granted at the High Court,

which was due to start hearing the case this Monday.



At the same time, the three parties have agreed to co-operate in a

comprehensive review of ABC rules.



The out-of-court settlement is conditional on the ABC Council giving its

approval to set up a new category for ABC figures, which would provide a

breakdown for subscription sales.



The amendment would oblige both the Telegraph Group and Times Newspapers

to separate their pre-paid non-postal subscription sales in their

monthly ABC reports.



If approved in time, the new category could be implemented in the ABC’s

published circulation figures for June 1997, due to be released this

week.



None of the parties involved was prepared to comment.



The dispute began last November when the Telegraph tried to prevent the

ABC hearing complaints from News International over its decision to

allow the paper to count lesser-rate subscription sales as full-rate

sales.



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