Postal rate hike less certain

It looks like there is one price hike that consumers may yet get to avoid next year. The U.S. Postal Service's plans to raise prices on stamps to 46 cents from 44 cents in January -- a 4.5% increase -- could be in doubt.

In an unprecedented move today, a coalition of 700 mailers acting as the Affordable Mail Alliance followed through on its threat to join together to oppose the rate hike, filing a petition with the Postal Rate Commission and joining some Capitol Hill critics of the rate hike. The commission needs to approve the rate hike for it to take effect Jan. 2.

The move is unusual because normally the 700 mailers each try to win the best rate for themselves and in the process, sometimes counter each other's rate arguments.