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Court Dismisses Videohouse Spectrum Auction Challenge

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit has dismissed Videohouse et al.'s challenge to the FCC's spectrum auction.

That came in a one-sentence order without elaboration beyond saying "no mandate" will be issued.

The order came after the FCC and the LPTV owners settled the challenge and asked the court Thursday to drop the case.

Videohouse, Fifth Street Enterprises and WMTM had sued over their LPTV stations' exclusion from the spectrum auction, which begins May 5.

An FCC source said that the settlement does not affect the start or timeline of the spectrum auction, which suggests the settlement did not include provisional inclusion of the excluded stations.

“We’re gratified that that petitioners have withdrawn their challenge," an FCC spokesman said. "In taking the opportunity to settle this matter out of court, the Commission avoids the unnecessary expenditure of resources on further litigation.”

The FCC and Videohouse et al. filed a letter with the court May 4 saying they were in serious discussions on a settlement and filed the request to dismiss the case late Thursday. Oral argument is scheduled for May 9, but if the court accepts the deal that will no longer be necessary.