The Federal Trade Commission filed a suit against Dish Network on Thursday, charging the satellite-television provider with breaking laws barring telemarketing calls.
The FTC said telemarketers from Dish Network Corp. kept calling people in an attempt to sell the satellite-television service even after they had been asked to stop. The agency says Dish and its dealers placed millions of such calls since Sept. 2007. Dish disputes the claims.
FTC's chairman Jon Leibowitz said in a statement that the agency was protecting Americans' "right to be left alone."
"It is particularly disappointing when a well-established, nationally known company - which ought to know better - appears to have flagrantly and illegally made millions of invasive calls to Americans who specifically told DISH Network to leave them alone," Leibowitz said.
Provisions in the FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule bar companies from calling people after they ask to be placed on do-not-call lists, even if their names aren't on the National Do Not Call Registry.
Dish's spokesman John Hall said in a statement that the company will "vigorously" defend itself against the charges. Hall said Dish's marketing standards were "best-in-class."
The FTC said the lawsuit springs from information uncovered in another case against Dish Network. The Justice Department, on the FTC's behalf, is already suing Dish for calling people who have put their phone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry.