Dish Network Corp., a company with a market capitalization of about $22 billion as of last month, could be fined $24 billion for making illegal telemarketing calls in violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
According to the Denver Post, U.S. District Judge Sue Myerscough has already determined that Dish and its contractors made at least 55 million illegal calls using recorded messages or to consumers on the Do Not Call Registry.
Now that the judgment has been made, Judge Myerscough must determine how much Dish will have to pay in fines. There are several stakeholders pushing for hefty fines including:
- The Department of Justice is seeking $900 million
- Ohio, Illinois, NorthCarolina, and California are pushing for fines in excess of $23 billion
These calls took place nearly ten years ago, and Dish has already been held accountable for these violations in most states. Dish settled claims of unfair and deceptive sales practices in violation of the Do Not Call Registry with 46 states in 2009, agreeing to pay nearly $6 million. Ohio, Illinois, North Carolina, and California filed their own claims, which are part of the current trial.
Consequences Beyond DOJ and State Penalties
As if $24 billion in potential fines weren’t devastating enough, Dish is already taking a serious hit on Wall Street. Dish opened the year at $56.11 on January 4th. As of February 10th, its stock had fallen to $39.71.
According to The Motley Fool, Dish isn’t really arguing its innocence during this trial, but rather balking at the excessive nature of the fines. In a motion filed with the U.S. District Court, Dish proclaimed that the proposed penalties are “a shocking amount far in excess of any penalties that the federal government has sought or obtained from any other entity for telemarketing violations, and for which the United States provides no factual support.”
The Motley Fool suggests that Dish will ultimately settle somewhere in the low millions range. However, it also expects that Dish’s stock will continue to suffer until the case is resolved.
What You Can Learn From Dish Network’s Do Not Call Violations
Penalties for violating the Telephone Consumers Protect Act can add up quickly — and wipe your company out. Compliance is essential, and it doesn’t need to be overly difficult or expensive.
Worried your company could face similar fines? Check out Service Objects’ Phone Validation APIs. Our real-time phone number validation APIs can quickly identify wireless numbers, which you definitely want to avoid calling, as well as mismatches between a phone number’s account holder and the phone record you have on file. Make sure you know exactly who you’re calling and whether or not doing so is a risk.