Northstar Wireless, LLC v. FCC, No. 18-1209 (D.C. Cir. 2022)Annotate this Case
Petitioners, Northstar Wireless, LLC (“Northstar”), and SNR Wireless LicenseCo, LLC (“SNR”) placed more than $13 billion in winning bids at a Federal Communications Commission (“Commission”) auction to license wireless spectrum. The Commission determined that neither company was eligible for the very-small-business discount because both were de facto controlled by their biggest investor, the large telecommunications company DISH Network Corporation (“DISH”). Northstar and SNR (collectively, “Companies”) petitioned for a review of that decision.
Northstar and SNR have again sought our review, contending that the Commission flouted this court’s orders in SNR Wireless by not working closely enough with them to reduce DISH’s control, wrongfully found them to be controlled by DISH, and penalized them without fair notice.
The DC Circuit rejected the Companies’ challenges to the Commission’s orders. The court held that the Commission complied with the court’s previous decision by affording the Companies an opportunity to cure. The Commission also reasonably applied its precedent to the Companies and gave them fair notice of the legal standards that it would apply in analyzing their claims to be very small companies.