Friday, December 02, 2011

Our Opaque FCC, Obozo's Pal LightSquared, AT&T, and Sprint

I know.  It's hard to keep track of all the Obozo deals, influence-peddling, outright illegal actions, shakedowns, and general stench.

LightSquared is owned by some super-rich Obozo pal named Falcone.  They want to put up a new wireless broadband network.  The frequency presents a problem, because it could endanger GPS.  The military is very concerned, and if you use GPS, you should be, too--albeit Teh Won doesn't give a rat's ass what YOU think.

How cozy was LightSquared's relationship with the White House? In January, LightSquared sent an email to Philip Weiser, then at the NTIA. From the NTIA's website: "NTIA is the Executive Branch agency that is principally responsible for advising the President on telecommunications and information policy issues." LightSquared was looking for help handling the press because they were "getting battered". They said, "Press reports such as below are leading to big problems with investors, present & potential, customers, Sprint, et al. I'll call you to see if there's anything NTIA can do with the press on Background to calm the waters."

Sprint had a deal with LS which was contingent on obtaining waivers over the frequency from D of D.

At the same time, Sprint had sued to prevent the AT&T/T-Mobile merger, which would have provided exactly the same benefit--a wireless broadband net--without the GPS problem


AT&T claimed that the merger would create 96,000 jobs in the United States as well a promote wireless expansion, something the White House has claimed to be a top priority of the administration. Even the Communications Workers of America (CWA) union supported the merger. Despite that, the FCC moved ahead to block the acquisition

AT&T finally decided to abandon their merger plans after this hassle and asked the FCC to allow them to withdraw their application, which was granted. This, apparently, wasn't enough for the FCC who decided to take a shot at AT&T on their way out the door.


...the FCC finally approved a long-pending spectrum swap between AT&T and Qualcomm. This decision was regarded as a "consolation prize" for AT&T after being shut out on their bid to acquire T-Mobile. Guess who else profits from this decision? get one guess.

Oh, yah, there's the common-denominator lawyer, too--but you'll have to go to the link for that.


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