November 23, 2015
Partner Steven A. Augustino was quoted in the Law360 article “Prepaid Carriers Challenge $5M FCC Fines Over Marketing.” At least three of six prepaid calling companies facing fines from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over allegedly misleading marketing told the agency to rethink the fines in separate petitions filed Friday, arguing the FCC penalized them for violating rules that are not on the books. The FCC hit the companies with the final fines in October, claiming that advertising posters for the calling cards did not clearly and conspicuously explain the actual charges that would be incurred for a call. Mr. Augustino, who represents one of the prepaid calling companies, Lyca Tel LLC, said that it is not enough to say that the marketing practices violate the statute without providing clear notice of what companies must do and what is prohibited. “This is a key element of fairness. It lets the companies know what conduct is required, and it protects against selective or discriminatory application of penalties,” he said. Mr. Augusino goes on to note that, “Two of the five commissioners already said they didn’t think this commission action was justified. And so what the reconsideration points out is significant areas where we think the majority’s analysis was lacking and that upon reconsideration of that, we think a majority of the commission will see that these fines were not justified.”
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