Dish and Affiliates Denied $3.3 Billion in Airwaves Discounts

The Federal Communications Commission declared that Dish Network controls two affiliates that won $3.3 billion in discounts at an airwaves auction, again saying the companies don’t get the benefit reserved for small businesses. The action doesn’t immediately cost Dish any money and gives it a chance to ask a court to rule that its affiliates properly pursued the discount, said Blair Levin, an analyst for News Street Research. Dish’s partners, Northstar Wireless LLC and SNR Wireless LicenseCo LLC, won airwaves licenses in a 2015 auction and received the small-business discounts. The FCC denied the credits, saying the companies in fact were controlled by Dish. The affiliates gave up $3.3 billion worth of licenses. A court in 2017 upheld the FCC’s decision, but said Northstar and SNR deserved a chance to address the agency’s concerns. The companies in 2018 told the FCC they’d changed their relationship with Dish to resemble arrangements the agency approved in other cases. More than two years passed without action until a flurry of meetings on Nov. 16 at the FCC.

Dish and Affiliates Denied $3.3 Billion in Airwaves Discounts FCC Decides SNR and Northstar Are Ineligible for Bidding Credits (FCC)