Comcast 10-Q Hints At Spectrum Auction Bid

Author: Mike Farrell
Coverage Type: reporting
Comcast, 1500 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19102-2148, United States

Comcast could have its eye on as much as 30 Megahertz of wireless licenses in the upcoming federal incentive spectrum auctions, based on a line item buried in its third quarter financial statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In its most recent 10-Q filing with the SEC, Comcast revealed it made a $1.8 billion deposit, that many analysts believe point to its further participation in the incentive auction. The item was under the heading “Investment Activities” in the 10-Q.

While the company offered no explanation in the document just what that deposit was for, investors noted the timing and the requirement that bidders in the formal auction submit a deposit before being allowed to bid. Deposits were due July 1, meaning that they would show up in Q2 or Q3 reports. Based on the size of the deposit, several analysts determined that Comcast could bid for roughly 30 Megahertz of wireless spectrum. That is higher than previous estimates that Comcast would bid for between 10 MHz and 20 MHz of spectrum. AT&T and T-Mobile also made deposits $2.4 billion and $2.2 billion, respectively, which would make them eligible to bid on about 40 MHz each. Dish Network, which already owns about 40 MHz of mid-band spectrum, hasn’t reported yet.


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