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Dish Network To Pay $210 Mln In Penalties To Settle Telemarketing Violations Suit

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DISH Network LLC, a unit of Dish Network Corp., has agreed with the Department of Justice and four states to pay $210 million in penalties to settle telemarketing violations suit.

In a statement, the Justice Department said the direct-broadcast satellite provider will pay $126 million in civil penalties to the United States. The company allegedly placed millions of telemarketing calls in violation of the Federal Trade Commission's Telemarketing Sales Rule or TSR.

DISH will also pay a total of $84 million to four states for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, for a total settlement of $210 million. These states include California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio.

According to the Justice Department, the settlement represents the largest civil penalty ever paid to resolve telemarketing violations under the FTC Act. It also exceeds the total penalties paid to the government by all prior violators of the TSR.

The federal government and the four states had filed the suit against Dish Network in 2009, alleging that the company made millions of unlawful telemarketing calls to consumers and was responsible for millions more made by retailers that marketed DISH products and services. The case went to trial in 2016.

Following this, the district court in 2017 found DISH liable for more than 66 million telemarketing violations, and imposed significant compliance measures on DISH. The court also awarded the plaintiffs $280 million in civil penalties and damages, including $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, but vacated and remanded the civil penalties and damages awards for recalculation.

In the latest settlement, DISH has agreed not to contest the court's factual findings or liability determination, and will continue to follow the robust compliance measures imposed by the court in 2017.

The company has also been ordered to prepare and abide by a telemarketing plan, submit telemarketing compliance materials to the department and the FTC twice annually until 2027.

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