FCC Upholds Behringer Fine of $1 Million

The fine of $1 million against Behringer USA will stand, the FCC says.
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The fine of $1 million against Behringer USA will stand, the FCC says.

The commission found the company “willfully and repeatedly” violated its rules by marketing 50 models of digital audio music devices that had not been properly authorized. The original fine was proposed by the commission in early 2006, as reported here.

The FCC had found that since early 2000, Behringer imported and marketed 66 models of unauthorized digital audio music devices.

“Between January 2000 and March 2004, Behringer imported and distributed approximately 1.17 million such devices for sale in the United States,” it stated. It also said that from April 2004 to February 2005, “Behringer continued to import and market unauthorized devices, even though it had previously represented to the Enforcement Bureau in response to the first letter of inquiry that it had initiated compliance measures.”

During the year after the Enforcement Bureau launched its investigation, Behringer imported 93,000 unauthorized units and sold 100,00 unauthorized units with a retail value of approximately $28.5 million, the FCC stated.

The commission said Behringer acknowledged that it failed to comply with applicable rules but asked for a reduction, saying the FCC had erroneously included 28 models as non-compliant and that the penalty was excessive. The FCC rejected those and other arguments in its ruling.