FCC Grants Sprint Auction 103 Waiver

On Monday, October 7, 2019, the Office of Economics and Analytics and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“OEA/WTB”) released an Order granting Sprint’s request for a waiver of the Commission’s rules with respect to its short-form application for Auction 103, notwithstanding the Business Combination Agreement (“BCA”) between T-Mobile and Sprint.

The OEA/WTB find that in light of the unique circumstances of the BCA, including its overall purpose and timing in relation to Auction 103, as well as the prior grant of similar auction waivers, that allowing Sprint to participate in the auction is in the public interest. Specifically, the OEA/WTB find that the waiver requests are analogous to those filed and granted in Auctions 101 and 102, and accordingly grant the requested waiver for Sprint to participate in the upcoming Auction 103.

The Order also dismisses as moot the requests of T-Mobile, Sprint, and DISH Network Corporation’s request for a waiver of the same rule with respect to the related Asset Purchase Agreement (“APA”) between the parties, entered into as a condition of the Department of Justice’s (“DOJ”) approval of the BCA between Sprint and T-Mobile. The OEA/WTB find that a waiver is not required with respect to the parties’ Auction 103 certifications, that there is no indication that future spectrum licenses acquired by any party (including those being auctioned in Auction 103) fall within the scope of the APA and that the APA does not relate to the licenses being auctioned. Accordingly, the request for waiver regarding the APA is unnecessary and dismissed as moot.

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