21 Jan 2016

For defying no-call lists, Dish may be fined $24 billion

Dish’s telemarketers allegedly failed to heed no-call lists, and the satellite-TV provider may be fined up to $24 billion, a sum larger than the company’s current market value.
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) is seeking $900 million in civil penalties, according to a report by Ars Technica. Four states — Ohio, Illinois, California, and North Carolina — want fines that would total more than $23 billion. A judge has already ruled that Dish and its contractors made 55 million calls that violated federal law by using recorded messages, Ars reported. They also are accused of phoning people who added their phone numbers to lists that are supposed to prevent telemarketers from calling.
A trial will decide whether Dish is liable for the conduct of its contractors and whether Dish managers knew they was breaking the law. Dish spokespeople responded to the requested fines by saying the company was shocked by the amounts. They noted the fines were far larger than those requested in similar cases. Dish’s market capitalization is $22 billion.
What’s telling about all this is, yes, some telemarketers ignore the restrictions on phoning people on the no-call lists, as many of us suspected. But the good news is that someone in the government actually is doing something about it.

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