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Group reverses on Kozmo discrimination claims

The civil rights group that filed a race-discrimination lawsuit against the same-day delivery company is expected Tuesday to publicly reverse its position on the matter.

The civil rights group that filed a race-discrimination lawsuit against Kozmo.com in April is expected Tuesday to publicly reverse its position on the matter, CNET News.com has learned.

The Equal Rights Center, which accused Kozmo of excluding service to certain communities based on race, will no longer pursue its legal claims, sources close to the case said. The Washington, D.C.-based civil rights group has concluded that race was not a motivation when Kozmo drew its service boundaries in the U.S. capital city, the sources said.

New York-based Kozmo and the Equal Rights Center are also expected to announce that the two have joined to look for ways to make the Internet more accessible to minorities, sources said.

In addition, Kozmo has agreed to contribute $125,000 to that effort.

Kozmo spokeswoman Stephanie Cohen Glass declined to comment Monday, and calls to the Equal Rights Center were not returned.

Kozmo has denied the charges since the Equal Rights Center and two Washington, D.C., residents filed the suit. In September, a federal district court judge dismissed the case. The Equal Rights Center said it would file a new case against Kozmo in state court, which it has now agreed not to do, the sources said.

Meanwhile, Kozmo expanded its operations to include more predominately minority communities in many of the 11 cities it operates in, including Washington, D.C., Los Angeles and Chicago.