The Fed’s Digital Matter is at an End

Here is a paper prepared and submitted by Yaron Dori and Ani Gevorkian for the sign industry.
Yaron is a partner and Ani is an associate at Covington in Washington.  Covington is one of the top global law firms and specializes in FCC and FTC law.

The two have prepared an article for the sign industry which explains the FCC’s Investigations Into the Digital Sign Industry:  How Did They Start? What are the Requirements? How to Comply?

The final upshot of the paper prepared by Covingtois, the Federal Communications Commission matter in question should be one of the past for the Billboard Industry.

Was it ever a concern for you?  Is the matter resolved? We welcome your comments.



The FCC’s Investigations Into the Digital Sign Industry:

How Did They Start? What are the Requirements? How to Comply?


by Yaron Dori and Ani Gevorkian
Covington & Burling LLP

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) recently concluded a number of investigations into the digital sign industry.  These investigations, which focused primarily on device authorization and labeling practices, have raised questions about the role FCC regulations can play in the digital sign industry and the steps companies can take toward compliance.

This article is intended to address these issues.

How Did They Start?

Although it is not clear what prompted the FCC to investigate the digital sign industry, the FCC’s investigations appear to have commenced shortly after the launch in May 2017 of a marketing campaign by Watchfire Signs (which is owned by a New York-based private equity firm), claiming that the digital signs of its competitors did not comply with FCC requirements.

FCC enforcement investigations can be the result of such claims, as companies sometimes try to use such regulatory levers to focus scrutiny on their competitors.  Irrespective of what prompted the FCC’s investigations in this case, it appears that the FCC began to transmit letters of inquiry to digital sign companies in June 2017 to investigate these allegations.  It is not clear how many or which digital sign companies (or suppliers) received FCC letters, but it seems reasonably clear that the FCC’s investigation was broad, as a number of digital sign companies have since entered into consent decrees to resolve FCC inquiries into their practices.

What are the Requirements?

The FCC is an important government agency, but its rules tend to be most familiar to entities that it regulates frequently and directly:  radio and television stations, telephone companies, and satellite providers.  It is perhaps for this reason that digital sign companies were not aware of the extent to which certain FCC rules applied to their businesses.


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