“FCC Issues TCPA Declaratory Ruling”
On July 10, 2015, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) issued its formal Declaratory Ruling (the “Ruling”) following its June 18 hearing addressing almost two dozen pending petitions under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, 47 U.S.C. § 227, et seq. (“TCPA”). Further to our report following the June 18 hearing, the Ruling: (1) makes clear that the meaning and statutory definition of an “automatic telephone dialing system” (“ATDS” or “autodialer”) includes equipment with the potential capacity to “store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator and to dial such numbers” as well as predictive dialers; (2) creates a one-call exemption for calls to reassigned phone numbers; (3) makes clear that a consumer’s ability to revoke consent using any reasonable method may not be restricted; (4) creates exemptions for limited types of free-to-end-user calls by financial institutions; and (5) affirms that there is no legal barrier preventing the use of call-blocking technology. We summarize the lengthy Ruling in this Stroock Special Bulletin.