On Thursday, March 12, 2020, the Office of Economics and Analytics and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (“OEA/WTB”) released a Public Notice (“Notice”) announcing the results of Auction 103, the incentive auction of UMFUS licenses in the Upper 37 GHz, Upper 39 GHz, and 47 GHz bands (AU Docket No. 19-59). The Notice specifies deadlines for payments and the filing of long-form applications and provides an overview of post-auction procedures and incumbent incentive payments. The highest bidders in the Auction were FiberTower Spectrum Holdings (AT&T), Straight Path Spectrum (Verizon), and T-Mobile, accounting for over $6.5 billion in total net winning bid amounts.
Auction 103 concluded on March 5, 2020, raising a total of $7,558,703,201 in net bids ($7,569,983,122 in gross bids), with 28 bidders winning a total of 14,142 licenses. Each Auction 103 qualified bidder will receive an email with this Notice along with a package including instructions on how to make payments, copies of the FCC forms, and an envelope for returning bidding tokens. Important information and deadlines for Auction 103 are as follows:
Deadlines (Due Before 6:00 pm ET)
- Down Payments Due – March 26, 2020
- FCC Forms 601 and 602 (Long-Form Application & Ownership Report) Due – March 26, 2020
- Final Payments Due – April 9, 2020
- Auction Results by Bidder – Attachment B to the Notice lists each winning bidder and summarizes each winning bidder’s auction results, along with licenses won, number of PEAs, relinquished licenses, gross payment, and net payment amount.
- Bidder Payments and Refunds – Attachment C to the Notice lists each qualified bidder and summarizes each bidder’s upfront payment and post-auction payments or refunds. Attachment C provides, for each bidder, the total net winning bid amount, incentive payment, net payment amount, upfront and down payment information, and final balance due.
- Results by Licenses – The Commission will make results available for each license won in Auction 103 available in the Public Reporting System, including the price for each license, PEA name and number, the frequency block, name of the winning bidder, and any bidding credits claimed.
- Incumbent Incentive Payments – The incentive payments for existing licensees total $3,084,172,898 and the net proceeds for the auction total $4,474,530,303. The incumbent relinquishment and inventive payments are listed in Attachment A to the Notice, along with specific information related to each commitment. FCC Form 1877 for incentive payments are due by April 13, 2020.
Post-Auction Deadlines and Procedures
- Down Payments – Due before 6:00 p.m. ET on March 26, 2020. Each winning bidder must have on deposit with the Commission enough funds to cover the down payment or 20% of the aggregate net payment amount of its winning bid(s). All down payments must be made by wire transfer and must be received in the Commission’s account at the US Treasury before 6:00 p.m. ET on March 26, 2020. Bidders failing to complete this process by the deadline will be in default.
- Final Payments – Due before 6:00 p.m. ET on April 9, 2020. Each winning bidder must submit any positive balance of the net payment for its winning bid(s). This payment must be made by wire transfer and must be received in the Commission’s account at the US Treasury before 6:00 pm ET on April 9, 2020, to avoid a late fee or default.
- Payment Instructions – The Notice details the specific payment procedures for down payments and final payments. These procedures differ from the procedures for upfront payments, and winning bidders should review this section carefully. All payments must be made via wire transfer, and the submission of Form 159 is no longer required. The Notice also details default and disqualification payments and refunds of excess upfront payments.
- Post-Auction (Long-Form) License Application (FCC Form 601) – Due before 6:00 p.m. ET on March 26, 2020. Bidder long-form applications are due for all licenses for which it was the winning bidder. Instructions are available on the Auction 103 website at www.fcc.gov/auction/103 in the “Education” section.
- Ownership Disclosure Report (FCC Form 602) – At the time of its FCC Form 601 submission, an applicant must have on file a current ownership disclosure information report (FCC Form 602). Note that this is a separate requirement from, and in addition to, the ownership reporting requirements associated with filing an FCC Form 601, Exhibit A.
- The Notice also outlines procedures for Tribal lands bidding credits and procedures for incumbent license cancellation and special temporary authority. We encourage interested parties to review these sections carefully.
The Commission reminds applicants that the rules prohibiting certain communications apply to each applicant that filed a short-form application in Auction 103. This prohibition ends at the post-auction down payment deadline for Auction 103, which is Thursday, March 26, 2020 at 6:00 p.m. ET. This prohibition applies to all applicants regardless of whether such applicants become qualified bidders, or actually bid in Auction 103.
Please Contact Us if you have any questions.