FCC plans to reject Dish Network's $3.3 billion airwaves discounts2015-07-23 17:49 by Daniela
Tags: FCC, Dish
Dish Network Corp. on Wednesday protested against FCC's decision to reject the $3.3 billion in discounts that Dish Network received in the AWS-3 auction. The commission has decided that Dish's bidding partners do not qualify for the small business discount.
Dish was the biggest winner of the AWS-3 auction held in January this year. However, it used smaller companies (Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless) to bid for spectrum and thus made $13.3 billion in gross provisional winning bids and won 702 licenses, winning 25 MHz of total spectrum including 13 MHz of paired spectrum.
"Dish has a tremendous amount of respect for the FCC commissioners and staff, and we appreciate their hard work on this matter," R. Stanton Dodge, Dish's general counsel, said in a statement. "However, we respectfully disagree with the proposed denial of the bidding credits. Our approach to the AWS-3 auction, which followed 20 years of FCC precedent and complied with all legal requirements, was intended to enhance competition - in the auction and in the marketplace long term. Our investments in NorthStar and SNR helped make the AWS-3 auction the most successful spectrum auction in FCC history, and resulted in more than $20 billion of direct benefit to the American taxpayer."
If the FCC votes to cancel the discount, Dish will have to pay the commission the disputed amount, effectively increasing the company's liabilities.
Last week the FCC voted to change the rules for the discounts aiming to discourage larger companies from trying to use the program with smaller partners. The credits are now capped at $150 million for small businesses and $10 million for rural service providers.
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