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Circuit City challenges FCC authority for DTV related fines

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 14 May 2008 10:59 User comments (8)

Circuit City challenges FCC authority for DTV related fines Last month the FCC issued nearly $4 billion dollars in fines to various retailers across the US for failing to label TVs without digital tuners. The labels are required by a rule adopted last May requiring retailers to label TVs with only analog (NTSC) tuners as incompatible with digital television (DTV) broadcasts. Starting in February of next year such TVs will require a converter box to receive over the air broadcasts.
Yesterday Circuit City filed papers with the agency claiming their fines, which total $712,000, should be thrown out because the FCC doesn't have any jurisdiction to enforce the rule. The company also alleges the agency acted improperly by not asking for public comment prior to setting the policy.

According to the filing, "Circuit City made extensive and good faith efforts to comply with this unprecedented regulation despite lack of notice or baseline for compliance." It also goes on to complain that errors were made by regulators in assessing the fines.

Assuming the company's claims are rejected by FCC officials, which seems very likely, the next logical step would be a lawsuit to have the rule invalidated in federal court. This wouldn't be completely unprecedented either. In 2005 a federal appeals court struck down the controversial broadcast flag, saying the FCC overstepped their authority by regulating how a signal could be used after being received by consumers.

Although this case doesn't deal with the signals themselves, it seems legitimate to question whether the FCC has any jurisdiction over retail labelling, an area of law typically associated with the Federal Trade Commision (FTC).

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8 user comments

114.5.2008 17:00

I can't stand Circuit City!
...but that's beside the point ;-)


I'd have to somewhat agree with them on this one. Lately the FCC [or shall I say Kevin Martin] doesn't seem to have his/their head[s] screwed on straight. This is not their jurisdiction. If they wanted things labeled, they should have worked with the FTC to get manufacturers to properly label the packaging. They require labeling about laser safety, interference requirements etc. Why not do it the same?

214.5.2008 17:00
susieqbbb
Inactive

no it's called circuit city new about these changes and where to freaking lazy to place the stickers on there tv's.

314.5.2008 17:06

Originally posted by susieqbbb:
no it's called circuit city new about these changes and where to freaking lazy to place the stickers on there tv's.
LOL very true too! Half the people I know that work for chain retail electronics stores don't give a crap about their job there.

414.5.2008 22:38

Not the retailer job, it's the job of the company behind those tv set's

we can get sued for modifying description of the tv set with out the company notice.

that being said this law is a BS law it is one sided as it pits all the blame on retailer.

515.5.2008 2:09
theridges
Inactive

Originally posted by DXR88:
Not the retailer job, it's the job of the company behind those tv set's

we can get sued for modifying description of the tv set with out the company notice.

that being said this law is a BS law it is one sided as it pits all the blame on retailer.
x2

Being An Employee at circuit city i can say there are only like 5 TV's in my store on display that cannot receive a digital signal.

615.5.2008 12:02

Circuit City, Best Buy , Radio Shack and other giant stores are failing big time informing the public about whats gonna happen soon with the TV signal and what devices can do what and what devices need what in order to receive the digital signals OTA. When are these stores going to set up displays showing us the people how a digital converter box works without any of the regular sorces such as NTSC tuner, cable or satellite services.
Show us what a QAM and ATSC tuner are capable of, what do i need if i have an HDTV READY, what do i need if i have an EDTV, why is everything so complicated?

715.5.2008 14:02

Originally posted by oscarin:
Circuit City, Best Buy , Radio Shack and other giant stores are failing big time informing the public about whats gonna happen soon with the TV signal and what devices can do what and what devices need what in order to receive the digital signals OTA. When are these stores going to set up displays showing us the people how a digital converter box works without any of the regular sorces such as NTSC tuner, cable or satellite services.
Show us what a QAM and ATSC tuner are capable of, what do i need if i have an HDTV READY, what do i need if i have an EDTV, why is everything so complicated?

Your wrong we have a display stating that in the following year a SDTV will be useless.and are TV's display tech tips and in those tip's is the ugentcy to switch to at least a EDTV set.

they want it on the TV witch we are relunctant to do.
we do a fine job of letting people know whats gunna happen.

i see alot of people that try to use this to get a new tv.
like example i bought my tv 3 months ago you didnt say it was guna be useless, but infact we have a stand saying it would

817.5.2008 0:02

Yo man, i think you have to go back to night school or something because i dont have the smallest idea what the hell are you talking about?

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