Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Circuit City Challenges FCC

This could prove interesting:

Big box electronics retailer, Circuit City, has filed papers with the Federal Communications Commission claiming the agency is working outside its jurisdiction over retail labeling. As part of the upcoming DTV transition next February, the FCC last May, adopted a rule requiring retailers to label TVs with only analog (NTSC) tuners as incompatible with digital television (DTV) broadcasts. Last month the FCC issued nearly $4 billion dollars in fines to various retailers across the US for failing apply the labels to their products. According to the retailer, Circuit City's share of the fines, which amount to $712,000 should be dismissed because the FCC doesn't have any jurisdiction to enforce the rule. 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." The company claims that errors were made by regulators in assessing the fines. Circuit City also alleges the agency acted improperly by not asking for public comment prior to setting the policy, an area of law typically associated with the Federal Trade Commission. If the claims are rejected by FCC officials, the company could file a lawsuit to have the rule invalidated in federal court.
You don't suppose Circuit City didn't label those analog TVs properly on purpose, do you?