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Joint Comment Letter re TCPA Ex Presentation
Dear Ms. Dortch:
On behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the U.S. Chamber Institute for Legal Reform, and the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (collectively “the Chamber”), ACA International, American Association of Healthcare Administrative Management, American Bankers Association, American Financial Services Association, Consumer Bankers Association, Credit Union National Association, Edison Electric Institute, Electronic Transactions Association, Home Furnishings Association, Insights Association, Mortgage Bankers Association, National Association of Federally-Insured Credit Unions, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, National Retail Federation, Restaurant Law Center, and Student Loan Servicing Alliance, we respectfully submit this ex parte letter to urge the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”) to clarify expeditiously the Telephone Consumer Protection Act’s (“TCPA”) definition of automatic telephone dialing system (“ATDS”) by acting on the Petition for Declaratory Ruling (“ATDS Petition” or “Petition”), which was filed more than 21 months ago by a number of the signatories to this letter.
Doing so would bring much-needed clarity to the definition of ATDS and stop the spread of differing court interpretations that have followed in the wake of the D.C. Circuit’s decision in ACA International v. FCC, which was pending before the court for over two years after the Commission issued its 2015 Declaratory Ruling and Order.3 In fact, just a few days ago, the Eleventh Circuit rejected the overly expansive ATDS definition adopted by the Ninth Circuit in Marks v. Crunch San Diego, LLC. Swift action on the Petition will help facilitate the important, and often time-sensitive, calls that customers receive from healthcare providers, pharmacies, grocers, retailers, utility companies, banks, credit unions, and other financial service providers, among others. Action also will help stem the tide of abusive TCPA litigation, which has been fueled by uncertainty regarding the definition of ATDS.
We support the Commission’s efforts to combat illegal calls, including its aggressive enforcement and regulatory actions to protect consumers from illegal caller ID spoofing and to promote call authentication. The Pallone-Thune TRACED Act, enacted into law on December 30, 2019, provides the Commission with additional tools to prosecute those who place illegal calls in an effort to defraud consumers. These actions by Congress and the Commission are significant steps in the fight against illegal calls.