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DirecTV hit by $5m fine over telemarketing abuses

NEW YORK - US satellite TV company DirecTV has been fined a record $5.35m (£3.02m) in a case involving alleged telemarketing abuses by five of its outsourced call centres.

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The Federal Trade Commission took the case to a civil court, alleging that the telemarketers had called consumers on the US Do Not Call register, the equivalent of the UK's Telephone Preference Service, while one of the companies had broken rules on silent calls.

FTC chairman Deborah Platt Majoras said in a press conference: "This multimillion-dollar penalty drives home a simple point: Sellers are on the hook for calls placed on their behalf. The Do Not Call rule applies to all players in the telemarketing chain, including retailers and their telemarketers."

The FTC alleged that DirecTV knew or "consciously avoided knowing" that its suppliers were breaking the rules.

The case has been partly settled between the FTC and DirecTV and two of the suppliers, Communication Concepts and American Communications.

However, litigation is continuing against the other three suppliers and their directors. The suppliers are DRD, Nomrah Records and Global Satellite, which is the one accused of breaking rules on silent calls.

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