CEI Advises Federal Trade Commission: Don’t Destroy Market For Devices That Block Telemarketing

Washington, D.C., April 3, 2002 – The Competitive Enterprise Institute has filed comments with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), questioning the agency’s plan to get into the business of regulating who telemarketers can call.  Federal intervention with existing laws and agreements risks destroying the market for private-sector devices and services that consumers can use to avoid unwanted telemarketing calls.  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


The FTC is currently considering a proposal to establish a national “Do Not Call” registry, which would compile the phone numbers of households that opt not to receive calls from telemarketers.  Such a list, however, would duplicate the efforts of over 20 states that have their own registries, as well as the longstanding Telephone Preference Service provided by the Direct Marketing Association.  In addition, several companies have developed devices and services that help consumers block unwanted telemarketing calls. 


“Federal regulation could severely damage the market for these innovations,” said Solveig Singleton, a senior policy analyst in CEI’s Project on Technology and Innovation.  “As with any inflexible regulatory standard, the federal requirement meant as a minimum protection could soon become a maximum because complying with the standard would absolve a marketer of any further efforts.”

To access the text of CEI’s comments, or for more information on the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Project on Technology & Innovation, see www.cei.org.

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Solveig SingletonSenior Policy Analyst202.331.1010, ext. 209[email protected] Recently featured in: The Associated Press,Washington Post, Wall Street Journal Europe, &Orange County Register, among many others.

CEI is a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government.  For more information about CEI, please visit our website at www.cei.org.