Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau Seeks Comment on Several Petitions Regarding TCPA

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The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC or Commission) Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau is seeking comment on three separate petitions regarding the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The first of these petitions requests that the Commission clarify that a person is vicariously or contributorily liable if that person provides substantial assistance or support to any seller or telemarketer when that person knows or consciously avoids knowing that the seller or telemarketer is engaged in any act or practice that violates the TCPA.  Another petition, filed by Stage Stores, Inc. seeks an expedited declaratory ruling in which the Commission clarifies TCPA applicability to a marketing text message sent to a wireless number for which the caller obtained prior express consent but where the wireless number has been reassigned from the consenting consumer to another person without the caller having notice or knowledge of the change.  The TCPA and Commission rules prohibit autodialed non-emergency calls to cellular telephone numbers without the prior express consent of the called party.  A third petition asks the Commission to clarify whether certain equipment used to transmit text messages constitutes an “automatic telephone dialing system” under the TCPA and the Commission’s rules.  Comments on each of the petitions are due August 8, 2014, with replies due August 25, 2014.

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