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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Do Not Call Violations Net $280 Million Fine for FTC, States

Courts FTC Mortgages UDAAP DOJ Telemarketing Sales Rule Litigation

Courts

On June 5, the U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois ruled in favor of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the states of California, Illinois, North Carolina, and Ohio resolving Do Not Call litigation against a direct-broadcast satellite service provider. The court found the service provider liable for making millions of calls resulting in violations of the Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, among other things. The $280 million in civil penalties, with a record $168 million going to the FTC, is the largest civil penalty ever awarded for violation of the FTC Act.

Additionally, the court issued a permanent injunction order against the service provider. Among the requirements in the order, the service provider will show within 90 days of the order effective date that they are “fully complying with the safe harbor provisions” and “have made no prerecorded telemarketing calls at any time during the five (5) years immediately preceding the effective date.” The service provider must also hire an expert to ensure compliance with the injunction and telemarketing laws, provide semi-annual compliance materials, and ensure their compliance with the TSR.