Dish Will Pay $210 Million to Settle Telemarketing Dispute

Dish Network will be paying $210 million in penalties for telemarketing violations, the Justice Department said.
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DISH Network  (DISH) - Get Report will pay $210 million as part of a settlement with the Department of Justice over telemarketing call violations, according to a statement by the agency on Monday.

The Englewood, Colo., satellite-TV company will pay $126 million to the U.S. government plus $84 million to four states -- California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio -- for violating the Federal Trade Commission's Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the DoJ said.

"We have long taken our compliance with telemarketing laws seriously and we maintain rigorous telemarketing compliance procedures and policies," Dish said in a comment about the settlement. 

"While we respectfully disagree with the underlying liability judgment, which involved telemarketing calls made between 2003 and 2011, this matter is now resolved."

The court settlement is the largest civil penalty ever paid to resolve telemarketing violations, according to the department.

"The settlement sends a strong message to would-be violators that telemarketing laws and regulations cannot be ignored," Acting Assistant Attorney General Jeffrey Bossert Clark said in the statement.

The case was filed in 2009 and went to trial in 2016.  The federal government and the states alleged that Dish "made millions of unlawful telemarketing calls to consumers and was responsible for millions more made by retailers that marketed Dish products and services," the agency said. 

In 2017, a U.S. district court found the company liable for more than 66 million telemarketing violations. The states were awarded $112 million in civil penalties and damages and another $168 million was to go to the U.S.

This year, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit confirmed the liability findings but ordered the civil penalties and damages to be recalculated, according to the statement.

Under the settlement Dish telemarketing activities will be restricted, and the Englewood, Calif., company will be required to submit telemarketing-compliance materials to the department and FTC twice every year until 2027. 

Dish will also submit compliance reports as requested by the two agencies.

Last month, Dish said that it posted $505 million net income for the third quarter of 2020, compared with $353 million for the year-earlier quarter. 

Dish Network shares closed regular Monday trading up 0.7% at $36.69.