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Commission Document Attachment

STATEMENT OF

COMMISSIONER AJIT PAI

In the Matter of Rules and Regulations Implementing the Telephone Consumer Protection Act of
1991; SoundBite Communications, Inc. Petition for Expedited Declaratory Ruling, CG Docket No. 02-
278


In regulation, as in sports, it is good to have clear rules.1 As I stated in a speech before the U.S.
Chamber of Commerce back in September, ambiguities about what's prohibited and what's allowed under
FCC rules interpreting the Telephone Consumer Protection Act have forced businesses to guess where
their legal obligations lie.2 The subject of today's order--the Act's application to opt-out confirmation
texts--is case in point. In an effort to better serve consumers, many businesses send a confirmation text
to consumers who opt out of receiving future communications from those businesses. This practice
simply lets consumers know that their requests to opt out have in fact been received and processed.
Notably, our staff review shows that the Commission has not received a single complaint about
this practice. (To the contrary, several consumers complained that they did not receive a confirmation
text.) And yet, companies face class-action lawsuits for this innocuous conduct. These suits have
threatened a host of companies across the country, from Twitter to American Express.3 This state of
affairs serves the interests of trial lawyers rather than consumers and the businesses trying to meet their
needs.
No longer. Today's common-sense order ends the legal lacuna and the courtroom arbitrage it has
inspired. Hopefully, by making clear that the Act does not prohibit confirmation texts, we will end the
litigation that has punished some companies for doing the right thing, as well as the threat of litigation
that has deterred others from adopting a sound marketing practice. And consumers want confirmation
texts: They want the assurance that there will be no further intrusions on their privacy. In short, today's
order is a win for consumers and for innovative companies alike. I am pleased to support it.

1 Cf. Walter Sobchak, The Big Lebowski (Polygram Filmed Entertainment 1998) ("Smokey, this is not `Nam. This
is bowling. There are rules.").
2 See Opening Remarks of Commissioner Ajit Pai at the Telecommunications & E-Commerce Committee
Roundtable of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce at 3 (Sept. 14, 2012), available at http://go.usa.gov/gT6e.
3 See Moss v. Twitter, Inc., No. 11-CV-906 (S.D. Cal.) (dismissed without prejudice); Maleksaeedi v. American
Express Centurion Bank
, Case No. 11-CV-790 (S.D. Cal.).

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