RESTON, Va. - Verizon has reached a favorable settlement in its anti-spam lawsuit against Additional Benefits, LLC, a Detroit-based commercial e-mail company, and its owner, Alan Ralsky.
Verizon Online, a unit of Verizon, sued Additional Benefits in federal court in Virginia in March 2001, alleging the defendants flooded its subscribers with unsolicited commercial e-mails in late 2000.
Under the terms of the settlement, Additional Benefits and Ralsky have agreed to a permanent injunction barring them from transmitting unsolicited bulk e-mails of any kind through Verizon Online's network or to its subscribers. They also have agreed to make a monetary payment to Verizon. The injunction covers Verizon's most popular e-mail domains, including verizon.net, verizon.com, vzw.com and others.
"This is a clear victory for our subscribers," said Thomas M. Dailey, general counsel of Verizon Online. "No one likes to open their mail and see it full of spam. This permanent injunction ensures that our subscribers never have to receive another piece of unwanted e-mail from these defendants, and sends a signal to other commercial e-mailers that they should think twice before spamming Verizon Online."
Verizon claimed in its lawsuit that Additional Benefits flooded Verizon's network with spam messages advertising diet pills, online gambling, credit repair tools, new car buying services, computer programs and home-based business opportunities. According to the complaint, these spam messages violated both federal and Virginia state laws barring unsolicited bulk e-mail sent to Internet service providers like Verizon Online that have adopted strict policies against spam.
In response to the growing problem of spam, many states have adopted strong anti-spam statutes that permit injured parties to recover statutory damages. Virginia's law, for example, permits an injured ISP to recover as much as $10 per illegal e-mail or $25,000 for every day a spam message is transmitted, in addition to attorneys' fees and costs of a lawsuit.
Verizon is one of the nation's leading broadband providers with more than 1.6 million DSL lines in service. Verizon Online is a full-service Internet service provider, offering a complete suite of dial-up, DSL and dedicated Internet access services for residential consumers and small and medium-size businesses. DSL Internet access services are available in 27 states and the District of Columbia.
Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) is one of the world's leading providers of communications services. Verizon companies are the largest providers of wireline and wireless communications in the United States, with 135.0 million access line equivalents and 31.5 million Verizon Wireless customers. Verizon is also the largest directory publisher in the world. With more than $67 billion in annual revenues and more than 236,000 employees, Verizon's global presence extends to more than 35 countries in the Americas, Europe, Asia and the Pacific. For more information on Verizon, visit www.verizon.com.