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FCC Votes to Help Consumers Hang Up On Automated Marketing Calls

The Federal Communications Commission moved against automated telemarketing pitches that have generated consumer complaints to the agency.

The FCC voted 3-0 today to require that banks, airlines, insurance companies and telephone carriers obtain written consent from consumers before sending the recorded marketing messages known as robocalls.

“We’re closing loopholes that have allowed robocallers to sneak through,” FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, a Democrat, said as the agency considered the rule during its monthly meeting in Washington. “Consumers have complained to us by the thousands.”

The vote harmonizes FCC rules with requirements set in 2008 by the Federal Trade Commission for other industries.

The changes won’t affect robocalls by political campaigns, non-profit organizations and informational messages such as notices about school closings, the FCC said as it proposed the changes.

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