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Dish Network to Pay $210 Million Settlement for Telemarketing Violations

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Dish Network will pay a $210 million settlement to the federal government and four states for telemarketing violations.

The U.S. Department of Justice announced the settlement. Dish will pay $126 million in civil penalties to the United States for placing millions of telemarketing calls in violation of the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR).

This settlement represents the largest civil penalty ever paid to resolve telemarketing violations under the FTC act. Furthermore, it exceeds the total penalties paid to the government by all prior violators of the TSR.

In addition, Dish will pay a combined $84 million to four states for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.

Dish didn’t respond to our request for comment.

Strong Message

Jeffrey Bossert Clark

Jeffrey Bossert Clark

“The settlement sends a strong message to would-be violators that telemarketing laws and regulations cannot be ignored,” said Jeffrey Bossert Clark, acting assistant attorney general for the Justice Department’s civil division.

This case was filed in 2009 and went to trial in 2016.  The United States, along with California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio, alleged that Dish made millions of unlawful telemarketing calls to consumers. Furthermore, they claimed Dish was responsible for millions more made by retailers that marketed Dish products and services.

In a 2017 opinion, the District Court found Dish liable for more than 66 million telemarketing violations of the TSR, and other federal and state statutes. That imposed significant compliance measures on Dish and awarded the plaintiffs $280 million in civil penalties and damages. That included $168 million to the United States and $112 million to the state plaintiffs.

In 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit affirmed those liability findings. However, it vacated and remanded the civil penalties and damages awards to be recalculated.

In this week’s judgment, Dish will pay the United States $126 million in civil penalties to resolve the monetary portion of the case. It also has agreed not to contest the court’s factual findings or liability determination.

Dish will continue to follow the compliance measures imposed by the court in 2017. The injunction strictly prohibits any future telemarketing violations. And it restricts Dish’s future telemarketing activities.

Dish also has been ordered to:

  • Prepare and abide by a telemarketing plan.
  • Submit telemarketing compliance materials to the department and the FTC twice annually until 2027.
  • Provide compliance reports requested by the department or the FTC.

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