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US: Appeals Court says FCC must reconsider DishTV contracts

 |  August 31, 2017

On Tuesday a federal appeals court ruled that the FCC gave two Dish Network affiliates insufficient notice to fix its concerns about their conduct in a 2014 wireless spectrum auction meant to favour small telecommunications companies

“[Tuesday’s] ruling from the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit notes that we were not given a chance to work with the FCC to remedy its concerns about agreements with our partner, DISH,” said Sarah Obed, vice president of external affairs for Doyon, Limited.

The ruling follows nearly two years after a 2015 federal wireless spectrum auction during which Dish Network used two of its smaller subsidiary companies, including Northstar Wireless, to jointly bid US$13.3 billion and then claim it only had to pay US$10 billion based on Northstar’s federal credits provided to small businesses.

Dish Network owns 85% of Northstar Wireless’ stake, while Doyon owns only a portion of the remaining 15%. Because the Fairbanks-based Native corporation manages the smaller company, Northstar is allowed to claim a small-business designation and use federal credits designed for small businesses, regardless of the fact that the majority stakeholder is a telecom giant.

Full Content: Global Competition Review

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