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Commission Settles Satellite Radio Probes

Four electronics manufacturers take part in consent decrees

The Federal Communications Commission and four electronics firms have reached agreements that ended investigations into whether satellite radio receivers with wireless FM modulators violated Parts 2 and 15 of the commission’s rules.

The probe, begun in 2006, concerned complaints by terrestrial broadcasters — both commercial and non-commercial — who said the devices were over-modulating and allowing satellite radio broadcasts to “bleed” onto terrestrial radio broadcasts.

Consent decrees have been reached in cases concerning Korean and Chinese manufacturer Ki Ryung Electronics; Korean manufacturer Humax; New York-based Audiovox; and Taiwanese manufacturer Wistron NeWeb. The Audiovox equipment was imported and marketed for XM and the equipment made by the other three companies was imported and marketed here by third parties, the FCC stated in its decision.

At issue was whether the devices complied with technical standards and FCC labeling requirements before being imported into or marketed in the United States.

With a consent decree, no blame is found and the investigation ends. In these cases, all four companies agreed to set up compliance plans and make voluntary contributions to the U.S. Treasury within 30 days. Ki Ryung Electronics and Wistron NeWeb will pay $30,000 each while Humax will pay $15,000 and Audiovox $5,000.