Breaking: Heavy-Hitting Petition Asks FCC to Confine TCPA to Statutory ATDS Definition

Well when it comes to FCC petitions it doesn’t get much bigger than this.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce just filed its Petition for Declaratory Ruling seeking an expedited ruling from the FCC clarifying the functionalities of an ATDS. This Petition comes on the heels of the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling in ACA Int’l to the effect that the FCC had erred in failing to clearly and coherently identify those functionalities in drafting the 2015 TCPA Omnibus ruling. The petition can be found here.

In the Chambers’ words: “The TCPA landscape is dysfunctional and in need of clarity from the FCC.” Truer words have never been spoken (although this is not the first time these words have been spoken.)

The petition notes the huge increase in TCPA litigation over recent years and urges the FCC to define the phrase “Automated Telephone Dialing System” with fidelity to the definition contained within the statute. Specifically, the Chamber urges the FCC to find that “[a] device must be able to generate numbers in either random order or in sequential order to satisfy the definition.”

The petition is backed by heavy-hitting trade organizations such as the Mortgage Bankers Association, American Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, Consumer Bankers Association, CUNA, and many others. What a line up!

In past years efforts to lobby the petition were largely initiated by trades independent of one another but it looks like everyone is backing the Chambers’ push on this one. It remains to be seen, of course, what the FCC does with the Petition but with this sort of firepower it’s a safe bet that the FCC will not be ignoring the Chamber’s request.

More to come TCPAlanders.