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Dish fined $210M for making millions of robocalls

It's the biggest civil penalty ever for a violation of telemarketing call rules.

Dish has to pay $210 million in civil penalties.
Angela Lang/CNET

Dish Network has settled its case with the US Department of Justice, resulting in a $210 million penalty for the satellite TV provider for placing millions of telemarketing calls that violated the FTC's rules. It's the largest civil penalty ever paid over telemarketing or "robocall" violations. Dish will pay $126 million to the US and $84 million two four states.

The case against Dish was filed by the US and the states of California, North Carolina, Illinois and Ohio in 2009, going to trial in 2016. Dish had been originally set to pay $280 million in penalties, but the fine was recalculated in 2020.

Read more: Stop annoying robocalls to your phone using every trick we know

Dish allegedly made millions of unlawful telemarketing calls, as well as being responsible for millions of calls made by retailers marketing Dish products and services.

"Telemarketing laws and regulations cannot be ignored," said Jeffrey Bossert Clark, acting assistant attorney general for the Department of Justice's Civil Division.

Dish said it "respectfully disagrees" with its liability in the judgment. "We have long taken our compliance with telemarketing laws seriously and we maintain rigorous telemarketing compliance procedures and policies," a Dish spokesperson told CNET in an emailed statement.