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Sprint to pay $7.5 million in record U.S. settlement for unwanted calls

People talk on their cell phones as passers-by walk past a Sprint store in New York, October 15, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford
People talk on their cell phones as passers-by walk past a Sprint store in New York, October 15, 2012. REUTERS/Keith Bedford

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sprint Corp will pay $7.5 million to settle allegations that it failed to spare consumers from unwanted telemarketing calls, U.S. communications regulators said on Monday.

The Federal Communications Commission said Sprint's resolution of an investigation by its enforcement bureau marked the largest Do-Not-Call settlement that the agency had ever reached.

The carrier said the calls in question resulted from technical or inadvertent human errors.

Americans can opt out of receiving many telemarketing calls by putting their phone numbers on a Do-Not-Call list, though some calls, including those from non-profits, are exempt from the restrictions.

Sprint's latest settlement follows one the No. 3 wireless carrier reached in 2011, also over complaints that consumers who had asked to be placed on the company's Do-Not-Call list continued to receive telemarketing calls.

Sprint said it has conducted a thorough, top-to-bottom review of Do-Not-Call data management systems and invested "significant capital" to improve oversight and compliance.

The FCC said Sprint will also implement a two-year plan to ensure compliance with FCC requirements designed to protect consumer privacy and prevent consumers from receiving unwanted phone and text marketing communications.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh; Editing by Tom Brown)

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