FCC Underscores Need for Confidentiality in 700 MHz Spectrum Bidding
To hinder any unanticipated- but plausible- attempts at anticompetitive or dubious alliances intending to bid for the 700 MhZ spectrum slated for bid this month, the Federal Communications Commission put out a ruling late yesterday that underscores the confidentiality requirements required of bidders.
The specific ruling says:
The Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“Bureau”) reminds applicants for the upcoming auction of 700 MHz Band licenses (“Auctions 73 and 76”) of the confidential nature of certain information, such as an applicant’s upfront payment amount, license selection, bidding eligibility, actual bids submitted, bidding-related actions (e.g., bid withdrawals, proactive waivers submitted, reductions in eligibility) and other bidding-related information that may indicate the identity or interests of specific applicants. The Bureau further reminds applicants that public disclosure of such confidential information may violate the Commission’s anti-collusion rule and subject the applicant to enforcement action,including but not limited to imposition of a forfeiture penalty pursuant to Section 503 of the Communications Act, as amended.
The advisory note went on to say that:
The Bureau adopted anonymous bidding procedures to withhold from public release until afterthe close of bidding in both Auctions 73 and 76 any information that may indicate specific applicants’ interests in the auction, including, in addition to the information described above, information on the winning bidders for licenses in blocks for which the reserve price was met in Auction 73.2.
Correspondingly, the Bureau recently warned applicants that the direct or indirect communication to other applicants or the public disclosure of such non-public information could violate the Commission’s anonymous bidding procedures and the anti-collusion rule.3 To the extent an applicant believes that such a disclosure is required by law or regulation, including regulations issued by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Bureau strongly urges that the applicant consult with the Commission before making such disclosure.
Related Tags: bidding, applicants, Bureau, information, bureau
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