Dish Network to pay $210 million over illegal promo calls

(Image: Dish Network Corporation/Graphic: The Desk)

Dish Network has agreed to pay $210 million to federal regulators to satisfy concerns over millions of illegal phone calls connected to its satellite TV service.

The settlement was reached earlier this week following a lawsuit filed in federal court in Illinois. Under the settlement, Dish Network will pay the federal government $126 million in fines. State regulators in California, Illinois, Ohio and North Carolina will receive another $84 million each in fines.

“Dish Network flouted the rules, and now they will pay,” Xavier Becerra, the state attorney general in California, said in a statement.

The lawsuit was filed in 2009 after regulators accused the company of making more than 60 million robocalls promoting its satellite TV service. The calls were allegedly placed to households that were listed in the federal “Do Not Call” database, according to regulators.

A federal court ruled against Dish in 2017, but the case was remanded after appellate judges found that the original $280 million fine was not commensurate with the actual number of offending calls. The appellate judges upheld the remainder of the claims against Dish Network.

On Friday, Dish Network said it disagreed with the spirit of the lawsuit but will nonetheless pay the civil fines in order to resolve the issue.