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Dish Network to stand trial over millions of telemarketing violations

The logo of Dish Network.
The logo of Dish Network.

Satellite broadcaster Dish Network is standing trial this week on accusations the company violated federal telemarketing laws.

The trial stems from charges filed in 2009 that accused Dish Network of violating the federal Do Not Call registry tens of millions of times.

In 2009, four states and the U.S. Department of Justice accused Dish Network of calling current and would-be customers despite their placement on the federal registry, which would normally prevent a company from calling a person with a commercial solicitation.

According to federal regulators, Dish Network violated the Do Not Call law more than 150 million times.

Last year, a federal judge granted the Department of Justice a partial summary judgement to the government when it ruled Dish Network had been liable for just over 57 million violations. The judge later dismissed two million of those violations, CBS News reported.

Now the government and Dish Network will debate those alleged violations before a jury. The government will have to prove Dish Network knowingly violated the law millions of times between 2002 and 2011.

Dish Network appears poised to defend itself by saying it did not know its telemarketing vendors were violating the law.

If the satellite broadcaster is found guilty of the violations, Dish Network could face fines well into the billions, but some analysts say they will likely only reach into the high hundreds of millions.

CBS News: Dish Network on trial for telemarketing violations

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).