T-Mobile says Dish’s conduct in the AWS-3 auction should result in repercussion should the satellite provider decide to participate in the upcoming broadcast incentive auctions.
In an ex parte filing, T-Mobile argues that Dish and its Designated Entites (DEs) “abused” the competitive bidding process in the AWS-3 auction.
“The Commission should therefore prohibit Dish and the Dish DEs from bidding in the future on AWS-3 licenses on which the Dish DEs ‘selectively’ defaulted and consider Dish and the Dish DEs ‘former defaulters,’ requiring them to provide a fifty percent greater upfront payment if they wish to participate in the upcoming incentive auction,” T-Mobile wrote in the filing.
Dish Network’s designated entities (DE), Northstar Wireless and SNR Wireless, recently surrendered 197 spectrum licenses won at auction to the government, following a ruling by the FCC which found them ineligible for the $3.3 billion in small-business discounts they received in the AWS-3 auction.
The DEs paid a $413 million fee for defaulting on the licenses. After return of the licenses, Dish Network’s affiliates will have acquired a total of 505 AWS-3 licenses worth about $10 billion. The returned licenses will be re-auctioned after the broadcast incentive auction, which is slated for early 2016.
Following the ruling, Dish EVP and general counsel R. Stanton Dodge said the company respectfully disagrees with the FCC proposal to deny the 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,” Dodge said in a statement.
T-Mobile has motive for wanting to handicap Dish, as the carrier has repeatedly said it will aggressively bid in the incentive auction.
In the filing, T-Mobile claims that the integrity of the auctions is in danger.
“The Communications Act directs the Commission, in designing auction methodologies, to ‘include safeguards to protect the public interest in the use of the spectrum,'” T-Mobile wrote. “Use of the spectrum is imperiled if the auction process by which it is licensed is corrupted. DISH and its DEs have done that in the AWS-3 auction, and the Commission must act to preserve the integrity of the auction process by preventing them from bidding on any of the AWS-3 licenses on which they defaulted in a subsequent re-auction and by requiring DISH and the DISH DEs to pay a fifty percent greater upfront payment in the incentive auction.”
Filed Under: Industry regulations