On February 14, 2022 the FTC announced that, at the agency’s request, federal courts in California ordered two Voice over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) service providers to produce information as part of ongoing investigations by the FTC into telemarketing calls and robocalls made in violation of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (“TSR”). Failure to comply with the court orders could result in the VoIP service providers being held in contempt of court.
According to the FTC, billions of these illegal calls pass through VoIP service providers every year. The TSR makes it unlawful to provide “substantial assistance” to “any seller or telemarketer when that person knows or consciously avoids knowing that the seller or telemarketer is engaged” in a prohibited act or practice. VoIP service providers who knowingly provide VoIP services to telemarketers or sellers violating the TSR therefore may also find themselves liable under the TSR.