February 14, 2020
Authored by: Bryan Cave and Merrit Jones
Retailer groups, including the National Retail Foundation, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Restaurant Law Center, are part of a coalition urging the Federal Communications Commission to clarify what constitutes an automatic telephone dialing system under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) following a recent decision by the Eleventh Circuit that deepened the legal divide over the issue.
The TCPA prohibits “using any automatic telephone dialing system” to call a cellular telephone number, except for emergency purposes or with the prior express consent of the called party, or to collect a debt owed to the U.S. government.
The statute defines an “automatic telephone dialing system” (or autodialer) as “equipment which has the capacity—(A) to store or produce telephone numbers to be called, using a random or sequential number generator; and (B) to dial such numbers.”
Last month, the Eleventh Circuit narrowly interpreted the TCPA as