WASHINGTON – U.S. regulators announced Thursday they had fined a Chinese firm a record $34.9 million and ordered it to stop selling signal jammers that interfere with authorized wireless communications.
The Federal Communications Commission said it had slapped the largest penalty in its history on CTS Technology Co. Ltd., a Chinese electronics manufacturer and online retailer.
The FCC said the company was marketing 285 models of signal jamming devices to U.S. consumers for more than two years and imposed the maximum allowable fine.
"All companies, whether domestic or foreign, are banned from marketing illegal jammers in the U.S.," said FCC acting enforcement chief Travis LeBlanc.
"Signal jammers present a direct danger to public safety, potentially blocking the communications of first responders. Operating a jammer is also illegal, and consumers who do so face significant civil and criminal penalties."
Officials said CTS misled U.S. consumers by falsely claiming on its website that certain signal jammers were approved by the FCC.
The company was ordered to cease marketing the devices and to provide information about those who purchased them, the FCC said in a statement.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2014