FCC Fines Electronics Marketer for Selling Non-Compliant Wireless Devices

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has levied a nearly $700k financial penalty against a New York-based electronics marketer for selling non-compliant wireless devices.

In a Forfeiture Order, the Commission cited the company Sound Around, a Brooklyn, NY seller of audio and video electronics and accessories, for marketing 32 non-compliant wireless microphones.

According to the Forfeiture Order, Sound Around had been receiving directives from the FCC since as far back as 2011, advising the company of the need to ensure that the devices it marketed have been properly authorized under Commission rules. Following ongoing complaints of non-compliance, the Commission issued a formal Letter of Inquiry in 2016, and a second Letter of Inquiry in 2019. However, in both cases, Sound Around never provided complete answers to the Commission’s inquiry regarding the authorization of the wireless microphones it was marketing.

Ultimately, the Commission issued a Notice of Apparent Liability in April 2020 proposing a forfeiture of $685,338 for marketing 32 noncompliant models of wireless microphones within the prior 12 months. In response, Sound Around claimed that the Commission failed to prove that unlicensed wireless microphones were actually purchased and that the Commission’s proposed fine was “excessive and unwarranted” and should be lowered.

In its Forfeiture Order, the Commission upheld its earlier assessment regarding Sound Around’s practices in marketing unlicensed wireless microphones, laying out in exacting detail the basis for its rejection of the company’s arguments against the proposed forfeiture, and even noting that the company “appears to be continuing to market some of the same noncompliant radio frequency devices issued in this Forfeiture Order.”

Read the complete text of the Commission’s Forfeiture Order against Sound Around Inc.

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