Utah Internet company files $60 million lawsuit over email spam

Posted at 5:26 PM, Jun 18, 2015
and last updated 2015-06-23 15:47:15-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- Utah-based Internet Service Provider XMission has filed a multimillion dollar lawsuit against a Florida company, accusing it of spamming more than 100,000 email addresses it hosts.

XMission filed the lawsuit last week in federal court, accusing of violating the federal CAN-SPAM Act and sending unwanted emails to its customers.

"We reached our limit," XMission CEO Pete Ashdown said in an interview Thursday with FOX 13. "We reached our limit as far as how much money and resources we put into blocking their efforts and how they don't play by the rules."

Ashdown said XMission traced the spam sent to customers to, a Florida-based Internet marketing company. The lawsuit accuses of procuring XMission-hosted email addresses from various sources and spamming them. XMission is seeking $100 for every email address on each count in the lawsuit, and asking for treble damages (more than $60 million).

A call to seeking comment on the lawsuit was not immediately returned on Thursday.

Ashdown said his hope is that the lawsuit sends a message.

"If we go after one, then maybe others will take notice as well," he said.

Ashdown said spam is a constant and costly problem for XMission and its customers, estimating he has spent tens of millions over the past 20 years to combat it. XMission employs two full-time email administrators and 20 hardware servers to handle spam.

XMission has filed for an injunction against A hearing has been scheduled next week in U.S. District Court.

"Stop sending us spam," Ashdown said. "Stop sending us unsolicited email. That's the primary objective here. It costs us an enormous amount of resources and we're going after the people that are essentially stealing those resources."

Read the lawsuit here:

UPDATE: On June 23, 2015, Richard B. Newman, attorney for, sent FOX 13 a statement in response to the lawsuit:

Clickbooth finds it deeply troubling that XMission has chosen to make a public spectacle of this lawsuit considering the meritless nature of the allegations and highly questionable legal theories.  Equally disturbing are the sensationalized media reports regarding substantive facts.  Clickbooth is an advertising network and not a sender of commercial email.  Additionally, the company has been a leader with respect to anti-SPAM compliance policies for a decade.  Clickbooth denies the allegations in the complaint and will investigate whether any email publishers participating on its network violated contractual warranties and clearly-defined guidelines by engaging in the purported activities.  The company intends to aggressively defend this matter.