Dish Network shares are down about 3.5% in post-market trading after the satellite broadcaster suffered a set-back in its plan to develop a wireless broadband network. The company wants to use spectrum from a $1.4B planned acquisition of TerreStar — and asked the FCC, which must approve the deal, to grant a waiver to its build-out requirements. But late Friday the FCC declined the request as regulators develop rules governing all companies that want to use particular airwaves. “In light of the unique characteristics of this spectrum band,” an FCC spokesman says, “the rule-making process will best serve the public interest and maximize the long-term value of the spectrum for the American economy.”
Last week Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said that if the TerreStar deal was rejected or delayed then ”we’d have to look at other alternatives, which would be unfortunate” and could require a write-down. Dish said Friday that it is “disappointed” and will review its options. But it added that, while it considers its next move, it will “continue working with the FCC” to find ways to “solve the existing spectrum crunch” and provide additional broadband competition. That has become “particularly critical given the expanding world of bit caps and restrictive data plans,” it says. Dish hopes to close its spectrum deals “as soon as practicable.”
Watch on Deadline
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.