Dish Unhappy About FCC’s Position On Auction Discounts

Posted by at 9:29 am on July 23, 2015

dish_logoDish Networks has confirmed the FCC plans to deny it $3.3 billion in discounts on spectrum licenses. Dish used three small companies — called designated entities — to place bids on its behalf during the AWS-3 auction earlier this year.

Small entities are generally given a discount of 25%, which would have reduced the combined total of bids from $13.3 billion to $10 billion. However, the FCC concluded Dish had an 85% controlling interest in the three smaller companies, making them ineligible for the discounts.

“We respectfully disagree with the proposed denial of the bidding credits,” said Dish Executive Vice President Stanton Dodge.

Dish maintains it followed the rules properly. Dish met with the FCC regarding the matter and was told the agency “will not designate the matter for a hearing or refer it to the enforcement bureau or Justice Department.”

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated the draft order last week, but it has yet to be approved by the full commission.

It’s unclear what remaining legal courses of action Dish might follow. The FCC recently altered the definition of designated entities to ensure it doesn’t run into this problem in future auctions.

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