Dish Network made no secret of its strategy in the Federal Communication Commission’s auction, despite coming under fire for now claiming back $3.3 billion in discounts.
The satellite broadcaster “fully complied” with rules in the FCC’s contest from which it emerged as one of the major winners, said a statement.
And the rules were unanimously approved by the whole commission, the company pointed out.
“Our approach — publicly disclosed ahead of the auction — was based on DE [designated entity] investment structures that have been approved by the FCC in past wireless spectrum auctions, including structures used by AT&T and Verizon.”
The Designated Entity programme is designed to encourage bids from small firms, in order to encourage some diversity in network ownership.
Dish made bids via two partnerships — Northstar and SNR — which qualified as designated entities by claiming less than $15 million in annual revenue.
The broadcaster was the second highest bidder in the record-breaking auction with $13.3 billion, behind AT&T, and is now in a position to claim back $3.3 billion.
However, one of the regulator’s five commissioners called for an investigation of the discounts, claiming that paying discounts to Dish “made a mockery” of the DE programme.