FCC official seeks investigation of $3B Dish auction discount2015-02-04 10:39 by Daniela
Tags: FCC, Dish, spectrum
In a recent auction of public airwaves, the satellite-TV company Dish took advantage of discounts intended for small businesses to save $3.3 billion. By using subsidiaries to bid for the sake of Dish, the future wireless carrier succeeded to buy spectrum for $13.3 billion, but will only pay $10 billion for it.
One of the five FCC commissioners, Ajit Pai hasn't been pleased with the discount. He wants the agency to change its procedures for future auctions and to investigate whether Dish has broken any rules for the current auction.
"It just makes a mockery" of the program "for a Fortune 500 corporation to be claiming multibillion dollar taxpayer-funded discounts," Ajit Pai said Monday in an interview.
The FCC's designed entity (DE) program dates back from the '90s, and it is intended to give more opportunities for small businesses to compete with the large telco companies on spectrum. Rules have been put in place to prevent large companies from using smaller companies to, literally, do their bidding, a situation that obviously happens.
This is not the first time that a large company takes advantage of such benefits. Dominating cellphone providers Verizon and AT&T have done the same thing in past auctions.
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