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Retailers contest FCC fines on in-store analog-only signage

Steven Kim

To no one's surprise, retailers are putting up a fight against fines handed out by the FCC regarding point-of-sale notification that analog-only TVs will go black after the digital switchover. Circuit City was the first to lodge a complaint and Best Buy followed quickly afterwards. Among the retailers' complaints are: the required signage was never made available for comment, the acts were not "willful or repeated," and that the FCC has no jurisdiction over the sales. We've tried to use arguments similar to those first two on speeding tickets -- you guess the result. Whether or not the FCC has jurisdiction is the more interesting point; the commission justified imposition of its point-of-sale rules in part III-B of its "Second Report and Order." Our take is that this legal action is really just a not-so-friendly way to negotiate the fines down, and expect the retailer bandwagon to get crowded if this is successful.

Read - Circuit City challenges FCC fine
Read - Best Buy challenges FCC fine
Read - FCC "Second Report and Order" [PDF link]

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