T-Mobile Says FCC Must Penalize Dish, DE's

T-Mobile has asked the FCC to require Dish-backed designated entities (DEs) SNR and Northstar, as well as Dish, to put up 50% more in upfront payments if they want to bid in the upcoming broadcast incentive auction.

After being denied over $3 billion in bidding credits in the AWS-3 auction because of its relationship to Dish, SNR and Northstar selectively defaulted on that amount of the licenses it won, but the FCC said they could rebid on the licenses when they come up for auction again.

T-Mobile had asked the FCC not to allow them to re-bid given that they were former defaulters.

The FCC had concluded that Dish's funding of those entities constituted control and denied them $3.3 billion in bidding credits they sought for the licenses they won.

On Tuesday (Dec. 1), T-Mobile filed a petition saying the commission "must use its discretion to interpret its rules and policies to ensure the integrity of the auction process by holding DISH and the DISH DEs accountable for their past behavior and discouraging them and others from repeating that behavior in the incentive auction."

Without some penalty, T-Mobile suggesting, there is nothing to discourage selective defaulting as an auction tactic. "Unless the Commission takes decisive action to hold DISH and the DISH DEs accountable for their improper behavior, they will suffer no meaningful consequences and the integrity of the auction process will continue to be undermined," it said.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.