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FCC Fines Digital Television Retailers

Wal-Mart Stores Inc, Sears Holdings Corp, Target Corp, Circuit City Stores, Inc, and Best Buy Co., Inc were among those fined by the Federal Communications Commission for violating rules on Digital TVs.

The rules were designed to prevent consumers from unknowingly buying DTVs that cannot receive digital signals when broadcasters make the switch on February 17, 2009.

The FCC placed fines on the retailers which included $992,000 against Wal-Mart, $1.1 million against Sears, $712,000 against Circuit City, $296,000 against Target and $280,000 against Best Buy.

Wal-Mart said the fines were for past violations and all the products it currently sells to consumers comply with FCC regulations.

“We have already voluntarily invested millions of dollars in new technology, training, new product and consumer education for the FCC’s DTV transition program,” Wal-Mart said in a statement.

Target said it had taken steps to inform customers about the transition from analog to digital, including brochures and staff training. It said it would review the FCC’s findings and take the appropriate action.

Digital Television retailers are required to have a label on or near television sets for sale that are unable to get over-the-air digital signals without an additional converter box.