The Federal Trade Commission today announced the following actions.
Advocacy/comments filed by FTC the Commission: The Commission has authorized the filing of comments on the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Calling Party Pays Service (CPP) Offering in the Commercial Mobile Radio Services.
On September 17, the Federal Trade Commission filed a comment with the FCC concerning consumer protection issues raised by the offering of calling party pays (CPP) as an optional wireless telecommunications service. When a consumer subscribes to a CPP plan, the person responsible for the telephone account from which the wireless customer is called would incur the air-time charges associated with the call, rather than having the person receiving the call pay for air-time charges.
The FTC often analyzes regulatory or legislative proposals that may affect competition or consumer interests. For example, the Commission has submitted comments to the FCC on television and radio ownership rules and policies; competition, rate deregulation, must carry rule, and other cable television issues; spectrum allocation and standards for digital audio broadcasting; the regulation of 900 number telephone services, the offering of advanced telecommunications services; and various truth-in-billing initiatives.
In its analysis, the FTC put forth four general suggestions regarding consumer protection concerns arising from the offering of CPP plans to consumers and businesses:
- The FCC may wish to consider implementing a notification system that accurately discloses the cost of a particular call to a CPP service;
- The FCC may wish to consider implementing consumer protections for CPP that are comparable to the protections available in pay-per-call;
- The FCC may wish to take steps to prevent some CPP services from falling victim to deceptive, unfair, and abusive practices similar to those that have been prohibited by Telephone Disclosure and Dispute Resolution Act of 1992 (TDDRA) and the Pay-Per-Call Rule, and from becoming a haven for evasion of the TDDRA; and
- The FCC may wish to consider measures to protect the interests of the "billed party" in addition to the "calling party" ("privity of contract") in a CPP transaction.
The vote authorizing the filing of Commission comments was 4-0 (FTC File No. V990013; staff contact is Adam Cohn, 202-326-3411).
Commission action regarding applications for approval: Following a public comment period, the Commission has ruled on an application for approval of the following: Albertson's divestiture of store 1650, located in Santa Ana, California, to Super Center Concepts, Inc.
The Commission vote to approve the transaction was 4-0 (FTC File No. 981-0339; see press release dated June 22, 1999; staff contact is Daniel P. Ducore, 202-326-2526.)
Copies of the document mentioned in this FYI are available from the FTC's web site at http://www.ftc.gov and also from the FTC's Consumer Response Center, Room 130, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580; 877-FTC-HELP; TDD for the hearing impaired 1-866-653-4261. To find out the latest news as it is announced, call the FTC NewsPhone recording at 202-326-2710.
(FTC File No. V990013)