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Justice calls for NextWave nix

The Justice Department said Monday it will join the FCC in asking the U.S. Supreme Court to strip bankrupt NextWave Telecom of wireless licenses the company could not afford after winning them at auction in 1996.

The federal appeals court in Washington sided with NextWave in June arguing that the licenses should remain among of the company's assets. Justice officials also asked the lower court to stay enforcement of its order until the Supreme Court rules.

The ruling invalidated an FCC decision to reauction more than 90 wireless licenses seized from bankrupt NextWave Telecom. Allowing NextWave to keep the licenses would cost the government roughly $11 billion - the difference between bids in the second auction and the $4 billion NextWave originally promised to pay.
- Bill McConnell