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Retailers Cry Over FCC Television Labeling Fines


Washington DC - Federal regulators have doled out millions of dollars in fines over falsely labeled analog television sets and several retailers are fuming mad. The Federal Communications Commission recently sent out field agents to several chains including Sears, Walmart and Best Buy to see if retailers were affixing warnings about the upcoming digital switch. 349 violations were written, but Circuit City and Best Buy are fighting back.

All over the air television signals will switch from analog to digital on February 17 2009 and the FCC mandates that customers be appropriately warned. Specifically, customers should know that they will have to buy a separate digital tuner for their analog sets. The agency performed several thousand store inspections and also looked at 36 websites and found that many locations did not have adequate warnings.

The FCC dished out $3.9 million in fines with Sears/K-Mart getting hit with the biggest share at $1.09 million. Best Buy took a $280,000 hit. However, Best Buy isn’t taking things lying down and its attorneys say the FCC actually has no jurisdiction over retailers. In addition, the giant electronics retailer says the agency expects perfect compliance, something which is ludicrous because the mandate itself is riddled with mistakes.

Read more ... Arstechnica.