FCC adopts new rules against 'robocalls'

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By Catherine Holland By Catherine Holland

NEW YORK (AP) -- The federal government is cracking down on "robocalls," those automated phone calls with the tendency to interrupt Sunday dinners and otherwise annoy consumers.

The Federal Communications Commission said Wednesday that it will now require telemarketers to obtain written consent from people before placing a robocall.

The new rules also eliminate a loophole that allowed telemarketers to place robocalls if they had an "established business relationship" with the consumer.

Telemarketers now also have to provide an automated way for people to revoke their consent to the robocall. If this happens, the telemarketer has to add the person to the company's do not call list.

The FCC says it is not changing the rules that apply to informational robocalls, such as airline flight updates.