FCC Releases Text of Robocalls Declaratory Ruling

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By Katie W. Johnson

July 13 — The Federal Communications Commission released the text of a declaratory ruling and order further tightening the rules implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

The FCC approved the declaratory ruling at its June 18 meeting but only released the text on July 10 .

The ruling gives consumers the right to revoke their consent to receive robocalls or text messages “in any reasonable way” at any time, and it provides companies with a single chance to stop calling or texting a reassigned number before they become liable for fines.

Practitioners recently told Bloomberg BNA that U.S. companies could experience more litigation and higher compliance costs under the FCC's ruling.

Laura H. Phillips and Eduardo R. Guzman, partners at Drinker Biddle & Reath LLP in Washington, said in a July 12 blog post that the ruling “sets forth a range of new statutory and policy pronouncements that have broad implications for businesses of all types that call or text consumers for informational or telemarketing purposes.”

“Notably, except for some limited relief to some callers to come into compliance on the form or content of prior written consents, the FCC’s Order states that the new interpretations of the TCPA are effective upon the release date of the Declaratory Ruling,” Phillips and Guzman said. “Requests may be lodged, however, to stay its enforcement pending review.”

The TCPA omnibus declaratory ruling and order, along with statements by the FCC chairman and commissioners, are available at https://www.fcc.gov/document/tcpa-omnibus-declaratory-ruling-and-order.

The Drinker Biddle blog post is available at http://tcpablog.com/what-you-need-to-know-about-the-fccs-july-10th-declaratory-ruling-on-the-telephone-consumer-protection-act-tcpa/.