FCC Both Eases and Tightens TCPA Rules

16 July 2015
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Key takeaways

  • The Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) has now released the text of its declaratory ruling and order on company and trade association petitions that had requested relief from and clarification of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of 1991 (“TCPA”) (the “Order”).
  • In its Order, the Commission, on the one hand, acknowledges the concerns of the petitioning parties and, for example, provides limited relief with respect to calls made by financial institutions in “exigent circumstances.” On the other hand, the Commission took the opportunity to “affirm the vital consumer protections of the TCPA,” including by limiting calls to reassigned wireless numbers and by broadening the definition of “autodialers.”
  • Although the Commission attempted to strike a balance between industry and consumer concerns, the Order undoubtedly leaves financial institutions and other companies subject to the TCPA dissatisfied with the confirmed and new limitations on communicating with their consumers and what they perceive as increasingly abusive TCPA litigation.