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FCC, AMS Settle Gear Noncompliance Probe

At issue was marketing of non-FCC authorized devices

American Music and Sound and the FCC have brokered a deal by which the Enforcement Bureau ends its investigation into whether the company marketed unauthorized Class A digital audio radio frequency devices.

In exchange, AMS admits no guilt and “voluntarily” donates $72,000 to the U.S. Treasury.

The agency concluded that its investigation raised no substantial questions about whether the professional audio equipment distributor has the basic qualifications to hold a commission license.

AMS sells professional audio, music creation and musical instrument products. It is the U.S. distributor for beyerdynamic, Allen & Heath, Fostex, Focusrite, Turbosound and other brands.

At the heart of the case was how AMS was marketing digital audio RF devices, including digital multitrack recorders, live recording mixers and stereo rack monitors. The commission said in its decision this week that some of the digital audio RF devices AMS distributes are classified as unintentional radiators. As such, they’re required to undergo the FCC’s equipment verification procedures to make sure the devices don’t interfere with radio communications.

In August 2010, the Spectrum Enforcement Division wrote to AMS, directing the company to submit a sworn written response to several questions about whether the company was marketing digital RF devices without FCC equipment authorization. AMS responded that it imported the devices from a foreign manufacturer, according to the FCC. AMS told the commission the devices complied with a European standard and that the company was not aware the devices were not compliant with commission requirements. By March 2011, AMS told the FCC it was no longer marketing the noncompliant devices in this country as of October 2010.

As part the agreement between the FCC and AMS, the company must develop and implement a plan to comply with FCC equipment authorization rules within 60 days and hire a “compliance officer” to implement the plan within 30 days. AMS must file regular compliance reports with the commission detailing its efforts to adhere to the equipment marketing rules.