In a setback for Philadelphia’s major daily newspapers, a federal judge has refused to block the distribution of a new, free daily newspaper sponsored by SEPTA, the transit authority that runs the city’s subways, buses and regional trains.

Lawyers for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Daily News. — in a suit joined by the New York Times. and USA Today — argued that SEPTA should be forced to impose the same restrictions on the new paper, Metro, that it imposes on every other paper.

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