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e-CFR data is current as of August 7, 2020

Title 47Chapter ISubchapter APart 1 → Subpart Q


Title 47: Telecommunication
PART 1—PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE


Subpart Q—Competitive Bidding Proceedings


Contents

General Procedures

§1.2101   Purpose.
§1.2102   Eligibility of applications for competitive bidding.
§1.2103   Competitive bidding design options.
§1.2104   Competitive bidding mechanisms.
§1.2105   Bidding application and certification procedures; prohibition of certain communications.
§1.2106   Submission of upfront payments.
§1.2107   Submission of down payment and filing of long-form applications.
§1.2108   Procedures for filing petitions to deny against long-form applications.
§1.2109   License grant, denial, default, and disqualification.
§1.2110   Designated entities.
§1.2111   Assignment or transfer of control: unjust enrichment.
§1.2112   Ownership disclosure requirements for applications.
§1.2113   Construction prior to grant of application.
§1.2114   Reporting of eligibility event.
§1.2115   Public notice of incentive auction related procedures.

Broadcast Television Spectrum Reverse Auction

§1.2200   Definitions.
§1.2201   Purpose.
§1.2202   Competitive bidding design options.
§1.2203   Competitive bidding mechanisms.
§1.2204   Applications to participate in competitive bidding.
§1.2205   Prohibition of certain communications.
§1.2206   Confidentiality of Commission-held data.
§1.2207   Two competing participants required.
§1.2208   Public notice of auction completion and auction results.
§1.2209   Disbursement of incentive payments.

Source: 59 FR 44293, Aug. 26, 1994, unless otherwise noted.

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General Procedures

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§1.2101   Purpose.

The provisions of §§1.2101 through 1.2115 implement section 309(j) of the Communications Act of 1934, as added by the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1993 (Pub. L. 103-66) and subsequent amendments.

[84 FR 1630, Feb. 5, 2019]

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§1.2102   Eligibility of applications for competitive bidding.

(a) Mutually exclusive initial applications are subject to competitive bidding.

(b) The following types of license applications are not subject to competitive bidding procedures:

(1) Public safety radio services, including private internal radio services used by state and local governments and non-government entities and including emergency road services provided by not-for-profit organizations, that

(i) Are used to protect the safety of life, health, or property; and

(ii) Are not commercially available to the public;

(2) Initial licenses or construction permits for digital television service given to existing terrestrial broadcast licensees to replace their analog television service licenses; or

(3) Noncommercial educational and public broadcast stations described under 47 U.S.C. 397(6).

(c) [Reserved]

Note to §1.2102: To determine the rules that apply to competitive bidding, specific service rules should also be consulted.

[59 FR 44293, Aug. 26, 1994, as amended at 60 FR 40718, Aug. 9, 1995; 62 FR 23163, Apr. 29, 1997; 63 FR 10780, Mar. 5, 1998; 79 FR 48528, Aug. 15, 2014]

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§1.2103   Competitive bidding design options.

(a) Public notice of competitive bidding design options. Prior to any competitive bidding for initial licenses, public notice shall be provided of the detailed procedures that may be used to implement auction design options.

(b) Competitive bidding design options. The public notice detailing competitive bidding procedures may establish procedures for collecting bids, assigning winning bids, and determining payments, including without limitation:

(1) Procedures for collecting bids. (i) Procedures for collecting bids in a single round or in multiple rounds.

(ii) Procedures allowing for bids for specific items, bids for generic items in one or more categories of items, or bids for one or more aggregations of items.

(iii) Procedures allowing for bids that specify a price, indicate demand at a specified price, or provide other information as specified by competitive bidding policies, rules, and procedures.

(iv) Procedures allowing for bids that are contingent on specified conditions, such as other bids being accepted or for packages of licenses being awarded.

(v) Procedures to collect bids in one or more stages, including procedures for transitions between stages.

(vi) Procedures for whether, when, and how bids may be modified during the auction.

(2) Procedures for assigning winning bids. (i) Procedures that take into account one or more factors in addition to the submitted bid amount, including but not limited to the amount of bids submitted in separate competitive bidding.

(ii) Procedures to assign specific items to bidders following bidding for quantities of generic items.

(iii) Procedures to incorporate public interest considerations into the process for assigning winning bids.

(3) Procedures for determining payments. Procedures to determine the amount of any payments made to or by winning bidders consistent with other auction design choices.

[79 FR 48528, Aug. 15, 2014]

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§1.2104   Competitive bidding mechanisms.

(a) Sequencing. The Commission will establish the sequence in which multiple licenses will be auctioned.

(b) Grouping. In the event the Commission uses either a simultaneous multiple round competitive bidding design or combinatorial bidding, the Commission will determine which licenses will be auctioned simultaneously or in combination.

(c) Reserve Price. The Commission may establish a reserve price or prices, either disclosed or undisclosed, below which a license or licenses subject to auction will not be awarded. For any auction of eligible frequencies described in section 113(g)(2) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 923(g)(2)) requiring the recovery of estimated relocation costs, the Commission will establish a reserve price or prices pursuant to which the total cash proceeds from any auction of eligible frequencies shall equal at least 110 percent of the total estimated relocation costs provided to the Commission by the National Telecommunications and Information Administration pursuant to section 113(g)(4) of such Act (47 U.S.C. 923(g)(4)).

(d) Minimum Bid Increments, Minimum Opening Bids and Maximum Bid Increments. The Commission may, by announcement before or during an auction, require minimum bid increments in dollar or percentage terms. The Commission also may establish minimum opening bids and maximum bid increments on a service-specific basis.

(e) Stopping procedures. Before or during an auction, procedures may be established regarding when bidding will stop for a round, a stage, or an entire auction, in order to terminate the auction within a reasonable time and in accordance with public interest considerations and the goals, statutory requirements, rules, and procedures for the auction, including any reserve price or prices.

(f) Activity Rules. The Commission may establish activity rules which require a minimum amount of bidding activity.

(g) Withdrawal, Default and Disqualification Payment. As specified below, when the Commission conducts an auction pursuant to §1.2103, the Commission will impose payments on bidders who withdraw high bids during the course of an auction, or who default on payments due after an auction closes or who are disqualified.

(1) Bid withdrawal prior to close of auction. A bidder that withdraws a bid during the course of an auction is subject to a withdrawal payment equal to the difference between the amount of the withdrawn bid and the amount of the winning bid in the same or subsequent auction(s). In the event that a bidding credit applies to any of the bids, the bid withdrawal payment is either the difference between the net withdrawn bid and the subsequent net winning bid, or the difference between the gross withdrawn bid and the subsequent gross winning bid, whichever is less. No withdrawal payment will be assessed for a withdrawn bid if either the subsequent winning bid or any of the intervening subsequent withdrawn bids equals or exceeds that withdrawn bid. The withdrawal payment amount is deducted from any upfront payments or down payments that the withdrawing bidder has deposited with the Commission. In the case of multiple bid withdrawals on a single license, the payment for each bid withdrawal will be calculated based on the sequence of bid withdrawals and the amounts withdrawn in the same or subsequent auction(s). In the event that a license for which there have been withdrawn bids subject to withdrawal payments is not won in the same auction, those bidders for which a final withdrawal payment cannot be calculated will be assessed an interim bid withdrawal payment of between 3 and 20 percent of their withdrawn bids, according to a percentage (or percentages) established by the Commission in advance of the auction. The interim bid withdrawal payment will be applied toward any final bid withdrawal payment that will be assessed at the close of a subsequent auction of the corresponding license.

Example 1 to paragraph (g)(1). Bidder A withdraws a bid of $100. Subsequently, Bidder B places a bid of $90 and withdraws. In that same auction, Bidder C wins the license at a bid of $95. Withdrawal payments are assessed as follows: Bidder A owes $5 ($100-$95). Bidder B owes nothing.

Example 2 to paragraph (g)(1). Bidder A withdraws a bid of $100. Subsequently, Bidder B places a bid of $95 and withdraws. In that same auction, Bidder C wins the license at a bid of $90. Withdrawal payments are assessed as follows: Bidder A owes $5 ($100-$95). Bidder B owes $5 ($95-$90).

Example 3 to paragraph (g)(1). Bidder A withdraws a bid of $100. Subsequently, in that same auction, Bidder B places a bid of $90 and withdraws. In a subsequent auction, Bidder C places a bid of $95 and withdraws. Bidder D wins the license in that auction at a bid of $80. Assuming that the Commission established an interim bid withdrawal payment of 3 percent in advance of the first auction, withdrawal payments are assessed as follows: At the end of the first auction, Bidder A and Bidder B are each assessed an interim withdrawal payment equal to 3 percent of their withdrawn bids pending Commission assessment of a final withdrawal payment (Bidder A would owe 3% of $100, or $3, and Bidder B would owe 3% of $90, or $2.70). At the end of the second auction, Bidder A would owe $5 ($100-$95) less the $3 interim withdrawal payment for a total of $2. Because Bidder C placed a subsequent bid that was higher than Bidder B's $90 bid, Bidder B would owe nothing. Bidder C would owe $15 ($95-$80).

(2) Default or disqualification after close of auction. A bidder assumes a binding obligation to pay its full bid amount upon acceptance of the winning bid at the close of an auction. If a bidder defaults or is disqualified after the close of such an auction, the defaulting bidder will be subject to a default payment consisting of a deficiency payment, described in §1.2104(g)(2)(i), and an additional payment, described in §1.2104(g)(2)(ii) and (g)(2)(iii). The default payment will be deducted from any upfront payments or down payments that the defaulting bidder has deposited with the Commission.

(i) Deficiency payment. The deficiency payment will equal the difference between the amount of the defaulted bid and the amount of the winning bid in a subsequent auction, so long as there have been no intervening withdrawn bids that equal or exceed the defaulted bid or the subsequent winning bid. If the subsequent winning bid or any intervening subsequent withdrawn bid equals or exceeds the defaulted bid, no deficiency payment will be assessed. If there have been intervening subsequent withdrawn bids that are lower than the defaulted bid and higher than the subsequent winning bid, but no intervening withdrawn bids that equal or exceed the defaulted bid, the deficiency payment will equal the difference between the amount of the defaulted bid and the amount of the highest intervening subsequent withdrawn bid. In the event that a bidding credit applies to any of the applicable bids, the deficiency payment will be based solely on net bids or solely on gross bids, whichever results in a lower payment.

(ii) Additional payment—applicable percentage. When the default or disqualification follows an auction without combinatorial bidding, the additional payment will equal between 3 and 20 percent of the applicable bid, according to a percentage (or percentages) established by the Commission in advance of the auction. When the default or disqualification follows an auction with combinatorial bidding, the additional payment will equal 25 percent of the applicable bid.

(iii) Additional payment—applicable bid. When no deficiency payment is assessed, the applicable bid will be the net amount of the defaulted bid. When a deficiency payment is assessed, the applicable bid will be the subsequent winning bid, using the same basis—i.e., net or gross—as was used in calculating the deficiency payment.

(h) The Commission will generally release information concerning the identities of bidders before each auction but may choose, on an auction-by-auction basis, to withhold the identity of the bidders associated with bidder identification numbers.

(i) The Commission may delay, suspend, or cancel an auction in the event of a natural disaster, technical obstacle, evidence of security breach, unlawful bidding activity, administrative necessity, or for any other reason that affects the fair and efficient conduct of the competitive bidding. The Commission also has the authority, at its sole discretion, to resume the competitive bidding starting from the beginning of the current or some previous round or cancel the competitive bidding in its entirety.

(j) Bid apportionment—(1) Apportioned license bid. The Commission may specify a method for apportioning a bid among portions of the license (i.e., portions of the license's service area or bandwidth, or both) when necessary to compare a bid on the original license or portions thereof with a bid on a corresponding reconfigured license for purposes of the Commission's rules or procedures, such as to calculate a bid withdrawal or default payment obligation in connection with the bid.

(2) Apportioned package bid. The apportioned package bid on a license is an estimate of the price of an individual license included in a package of licenses in an auction with combinatorial (package) bidding. Apportioned package bids shall be determined by the Commission according to a methodology it establishes in advance of each auction with combinatorial bidding. The apportioned package bid on a license included in a package shall be used in place of the amount of an individual bid on that license when the bid amount is needed to determine the size of a designated entity bidding credit (see §1.2110(f)(1), (f)(2), and (f)(4)), a new entrant bidding credit (see §73.5007 of this chapter), a bid withdrawal or default payment obligation (see §1.2104(g)), a tribal land bidding credit limit (see §1.2110(f)(3)), or a size-based bidding credit unjust enrichment payment obligation (see §1.2111(b), (c)(2) and (c)(3)), or for any other determination required by the Commission's rules or procedures.

[59 FR 44293, Aug. 26, 1994, as amended at 63 FR 2341, Jan. 15, 1998; 65 FR 52344, Aug. 29, 2000; 68 FR 42995, July 21, 2003; 71 FR 6226, Feb. 7, 2006; 79 FR 48529, Aug. 15, 2014; 80 FR 56809, Sept. 18, 2015]

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§1.2105   Bidding application and certification procedures; prohibition of certain communications.

(a) Submission of Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175). In order to be eligible to bid, an applicant must timely submit a short-form application (FCC Form 175), together with any appropriate upfront payment set forth by Public Notice. All short-form applications must be filed electronically.

(1) All short-form applications will be due:

(i) On the date(s) specified by public notice; or

(ii) In the case of application filing dates which occur automatically by operation of law, on a date specified by public notice after the Commission has reviewed the applications that have been filed on those dates and determined that mutual exclusivity exists.

(2) The short-form application must contain the following information, and all information, statements, certifications and declarations submitted in the application shall be made under penalty of perjury:

(i) Identification of each license, or category of licenses, on which the applicant wishes to bid.

(ii)(A) The applicant's name, if the applicant is an individual. If the applicant is a corporation, then the short-form application will require the name and address of the corporate office and the name and title of an officer or director. If the applicant is a partnership, then the application will require the name, citizenship and address of all general partners, and, if a partner is not a natural person, then the name and title of a responsible person should be included as well. If the applicant is a trust, then the name and address of the trustee will be required. If the applicant is none of the above, then it must identify and describe itself and its principals or other responsible persons; and

(B) Applicant ownership and other information, as set forth in §1.2112.

(iii) The identity of the person(s) authorized to make or withdraw a bid. No person may serve as an authorized bidder for more than one auction applicant;

(iv) If the applicant applies as a designated entity, a certification that the applicant is qualified as a designated entity under §1.2110.

(v) Certification that the applicant is legally, technically, financially and otherwise qualified pursuant to section 308(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended;

(vi) Certification that the applicant is in compliance with the foreign ownership provisions of section 310 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended. The Commission will accept applications certifying that a request for waiver or other relief from the requirements of section 310 is pending;

(vii) Certification that the applicant is and will, during the pendency of its application(s), remain in compliance with any service-specific qualifications applicable to the licenses on which the applicant intends to bid including, but not limited to, financial qualifications. The Commission may require certification in certain services that the applicant will, following grant of a license, come into compliance with certain service-specific rules, including, but not limited to, ownership eligibility limitations;

(viii) Certification that the applicant has provided in its application a brief description of, and identified each party to, any partnerships, joint ventures, consortia or other agreements, arrangements or understandings of any kind relating to the licenses being auctioned, including any agreements that address or communicate directly or indirectly bids (including specific prices), bidding strategies (including the specific licenses on which to bid or not to bid), or the post-auction market structure, to which the applicant, or any party that controls as defined in paragraph (a)(4) of this section or is controlled by the applicant, is a party.

(ix) Certification that the applicant (or any party that controls as defined in paragraph (a)(4) of this section or is controlled by the applicant) has not entered and will not enter into any partnerships, joint ventures, consortia or other agreements, arrangements, or understandings of any kind relating to the licenses being auctioned that address or communicate, directly or indirectly, bidding at auction (including specific prices to be bid) or bidding strategies (including the specific licenses on which to bid or not to bid), or post-auction market structure with: any other applicant (or any party that controls or is controlled by another applicant); with a nationwide provider that is not an applicant (or any party that controls or is controlled by such a nationwide provider); or, if the applicant is a nationwide provider, with any non-nationwide provider that is not an applicant (or with any party that controls or is controlled by such a non-nationwide provider), other than:

(A) Agreements, arrangements, or understandings of any kind that are solely operational as defined under paragraph (a)(4) of this section;

(B) Agreements, arrangements, or understandings of any kind to form consortia or joint ventures as defined under paragraph (a)(4) of this section;

(C) Agreements, arrangements or understandings of any kind with respect to the transfer or assignment of licenses, provided that such agreements, arrangements or understandings do not both relate to the licenses at auction and address or communicate, directly or indirectly, bidding at auction (including specific prices to be bid), or bidding strategies (including the specific licenses on which to bid or not to bid), or post-auction market structure.

(x) Certification that if applicant has an interest disclosed pursuant to §1.2112(a)(1) through (6) with respect to more than one short-form application for an auction, it will implement internal controls that preclude any individual acting on behalf of the applicant as defined in paragraph (c)(5) of this section from possessing information about the bids or bidding strategies (including post-auction market structure), of more than one party submitting a short-form application or communicating such information with respect to a party submitting a short-form application to anyone possessing such information regarding another party submitting a short-form application.

(xi) Certification that the applicant is not in default on any Commission licenses and that it is not delinquent on any non-tax debt owed to any Federal agency.

(xii) A certification indicating whether the applicant has ever been in default on any Commission license or has ever been delinquent on any non-tax debt owed to any Federal agency. For purposes of this certification, an applicant may exclude from consideration as a former default any default on a Commission license or delinquency on a non-tax debt to any Federal agency that has been resolved and meets any of the following criteria:

(A) The notice of the final payment deadline or delinquency was received more than seven years before the short-form application deadline;

(B) The default or delinquency amounted to less than $100,000;

(C) The default or delinquency was paid within two quarters (i.e., 6 months) after receiving the notice of the final payment deadline or delinquency; or

(D) The default or delinquency was the subject of a legal or arbitration proceeding that was cured upon resolution of the proceeding.

(xiii) For auctions required to be conducted under Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96) or in which any spectrum usage rights for which licenses are being assigned were made available under 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)(G)(i), certification under penalty of perjury that the applicant and all of the person(s) disclosed under paragraph (a)(2)(ii) of this section are not person(s) who have been, for reasons of national security, barred by any agency of the Federal Government from bidding on a contract, participating in an auction, or receiving a grant. For the purposes of this certification, the term “person” means an individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, or corporation, and the term “reasons of national security” means matters relating to the national defense and foreign relations of the United States.

(3) Limit on filing applications. In any auction, no individual or entity may file more than one short-form application or have a controlling interest in more than one short-form application. In the case of a consortium, each member of the consortium shall be considered to have a controlling interest in the consortium. In the event that applications for an auction are filed by applicants with overlapping controlling interests, pursuant to paragraph (b)(1)(ii) of this section, both applications will be deemed incomplete and only one such applicant may be deemed qualified to bid. This limit shall not apply to any qualifying rural wireless partnership and individual members of such partnerships. A qualifying rural wireless partnership for purposes of this exception is one that was established as a result of the cellular B block settlement process established by the Commission in CC Docket No. 85-388 in which no nationwide provider is a managing partner or a managing member of the management committee, and partnership interests have not materially changed as of the effective date of the Report and Order in WT Docket No. 14-170, FCC 15-80. A partnership member for purposes of this exception is a partner or successor-in-interest to a partner in a qualifying partnership that does not have day-to-day management responsibilities in the partnership and holds 25% or less ownership interest, and provides a certification in its short-form application that it will implement internal controls to insulate itself from the bidding process of the cellular partnership and any other members of the partnership, except that it may, prior to the deadline for resubmission of short-form applications, express to the partnership the maximum it is willing to spend as a partner.

(4) Definitions. For purposes of the certifications required under paragraph (a)(2) of this section:

(i) The term controlling interest includes individuals or entities with positive or negative de jure or de facto control of the applicant. De jure control includes holding 50 percent or more of the voting stock of a corporation or holding a general partnership interest in a partnership. Ownership interests that are held indirectly by any party through one or more intervening corporations may be determined by successive multiplication of the ownership percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain and application of the relevant attribution benchmark to the resulting product, except that if the ownership percentage for an interest in any link in the chain meets or exceeds 50 percent or represents actual control, it may be treated as if it were a 100 percent interest. De facto control is determined on a case-by-case basis. Examples of de facto control include constituting or appointing 50 percent or more of the board of directors or management committee; having authority to appoint, promote, demote, and fire senior executives that control the day-to-day activities of the licensee; or playing an integral role in management decisions. In the case of a consortium, each member of the consortium shall be considered to have a controlling interest in the consortium.

(ii) The term consortium means an entity formed to apply as a single applicant to bid at auction pursuant to an agreement by two or more separate and distinct legal entities that individually are eligible to claim the same designated entity benefits under §1.2110, provided that no member of the consortium may be a nationwide provider;

(iii) The term joint venture means a legally cognizable entity formed to apply as a single applicant to bid at auction pursuant to an agreement by two or more separate and distinct legal entities, provided that no member of the joint venture may be a nationwide provider;

(iv) The term solely operational agreement means any agreement, arrangement, or understanding of any kind that addresses operational aspects of providing a mobile service, including but not limited to agreements for roaming, device acquisition, and spectrum leasing and other spectrum use arrangements, so long as the agreement does not both relate to the licenses at auction and address or communicate, directly or indirectly, bidding at auction (including specific prices to be bid) or bidding strategies (including the specific licenses on which to bid or not to bid), or post-auction market structure.

Note to paragraph (a): The Commission may also request applicants to submit additional information for informational purposes to aid in its preparation of required reports to Congress.

(b) Modification and Dismissal of Short-Form Application (FCC Form 175). (1) (i) Any short-form application (FCC Form 175) that does not contain all of the certifications required pursuant to this section is unacceptable for filing and cannot be corrected subsequent to the applicable filing deadline. The application will be deemed incomplete, the applicant will not be found qualified to bid, and the upfront payment, if paid, will be returned.

(ii) If:

(A) An individual or entity submits multiple applications in a single auction; or

(B) Entities commonly controlled by the same individual or same set of individuals submit applications for any set of licenses in the same or overlapping geographic areas in a single auction; then only one of such applications may be deemed complete, and the other such application(s) will be deemed incomplete, such applicants will not be found qualified to bid, and the associated upfront payment(s), if paid, will be returned.

(2) The Commission will provide bidders a limited opportunity to cure defects specified herein (except for failure to sign the application and to make certifications) and to resubmit a corrected application. During the resubmission period for curing defects, a short-form application may be amended or modified to cure defects identified by the Commission or to make minor amendments or modifications. After the resubmission period has ended, a short-form application may be amended or modified to make minor changes or correct minor errors in the application. Major amendments cannot be made to a short-form application after the initial filing deadline. Major amendments include changes in ownership of the applicant that would constitute an assignment or transfer of control, changes in an applicant's size which would affect eligibility for designated entity provisions, and changes in the license service areas identified on the short-form application on which the applicant intends to bid. Minor amendments include, but are not limited to, the correction of typographical errors and other minor defects not identified as major. An application will be considered to be newly filed if it is amended by a major amendment and may not be resubmitted after applicable filing deadlines.

(3) Applicants who fail to correct defects in their applications in a timely manner as specified by public notice will have their applications dismissed with no opportunity for resubmission.

(4) Applicants shall have a continuing obligation to make any amendments or modifications that are necessary to maintain the accuracy and completeness of information furnished in pending applications. Such amendments or modifications shall be made as promptly as possible, and in no case more than five business days after applicants become aware of the need to make any amendment or modification, or five business days after the reportable event occurs, whichever is later. An applicant's obligation to make such amendments or modifications to a pending application continues until they are made.

(c) Prohibition of certain communications. (1) After the short-form application filing deadline, all applicants are prohibited from cooperating or collaborating with respect to, communicating with or disclosing, to each other or any nationwide provider that is not an applicant, or, if the applicant is a nationwide provider, any non-nationwide provider that is not an applicant, in any manner the substance of their own, or each other's, or any other applicants' bids or bidding strategies (including post-auction market structure), or discussing or negotiating settlement agreements, until after the down payment deadline, unless such communications are within the scope of an agreement described in paragraphs (a)(2)(ix)(A) through (C) of this section that is disclosed pursuant to paragraph (a)(2)(viii) of this section.

(2) Any party submitting a short-form application that has an interest disclosed pursuant to §1.2112(a)(1) through (6) with respect to more than one short-form application for an auction must implement internal controls that preclude any individual acting on behalf of the applicant as defined for purposes of this paragraph from possessing information about the bids or bidding strategies of more than one party submitting a short-form or communicating such information with respect to a party submitting a short-form application to anyone possessing such information regarding another party submitting a short-form application. Implementation of such internal controls will not outweigh specific evidence that a prohibited communication has occurred, nor will it preclude the initiation of an investigation when warranted.

(3) An applicant must modify its short-form application to reflect any changes in ownership or in membership of a consortium or a joint venture or agreements or understandings related to the licenses being auctioned.

(4) A party that makes or receives a communication prohibited under paragraphs (c)(1) or (6) of this section shall report such communication in writing immediately, and in any case no later than five business days after the communication occurs. A party's obligation to make such a report continues until the report has been made. Such reports shall be filed as directed in public notices detailing procedures for the bidding that was the subject of the reported communication. If no public notice provides direction, the party making the report shall do so in writing to the Chief of the Auctions and Spectrum Access Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, by the most expeditious means available, including electronic transmission such as email.

(5) For purposes of this paragraph:

(i) The term applicant shall include all controlling interests in the entity submitting a short-form application to participate in an auction (FCC Form 175), as well as all holders of partnership and other ownership interests and any stock interest amounting to 10 percent or more of the entity, or outstanding stock, or outstanding voting stock of the entity submitting a short-form application, and all officers and directors of that entity. In the case of a consortium, each member of the consortium shall be considered to have a controlling interest in the consortium; and

(ii) The term bids or bidding strategies shall include capital calls or requests for additional funds in support of bids or bidding strategies.

Example: Company A is an applicant in area 1. Company B and Company C each own 10 percent of Company A. Company D is an applicant in area 1, area 2, and area 3. Company C is an applicant in area 3. Without violating the Commission's Rules, Company B can enter into a consortium arrangement with Company D or acquire an ownership interest in Company D if Company B certifies either:

(1) That it has communicated with and will communicate neither with Company A or anyone else concerning Company A's bids or bidding strategy, nor with Company C or anyone else concerning Company C's bids or bidding strategy, or

(2) that it has not communicated with and will not communicate with Company D or anyone else concerning Company D's bids or bidding strategy.

(6) Prohibition of certain communications for the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction conducted under section 6403 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96).

(i) For the purposes of the prohibition described in paragraphs (c)(6)(ii) and (iii) of this section, the term forward auction applicant is defined the same as the term applicant is defined in paragraph (c)(5) of this section, and the terms full power broadcast television licensee and Class A broadcast television licensee are defined the same as those terms are defined in §1.2205(a)(1).

(ii) Except as provided in paragraph (c)(6)(iii) of this section, in the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction conducted under section 6403 of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96), beginning on the short-form application filing deadline for the forward auction and until the results of the incentive auction are announced by public notice, all forward auction applicants are prohibited from communicating directly or indirectly any incentive auction applicant's bids or bidding strategies to any full power or Class A broadcast television licensee.

(iii) The prohibition described in paragraph (c)(6)(ii) of this section does not apply to communications between a forward auction applicant and a full power or Class A broadcast television licensee if a controlling interest, director, officer, or holder of any 10 percent or greater ownership interest in the forward auction applicant, as of the deadline for submitting short-form applications to participate in the forward auction, is also a controlling interest, director, officer, or governing board member of the full power or Class A broadcast television licensee, as of the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction.

Note 1 to paragraph (c): For the purposes of paragraph (c), “controlling interests” include individuals or entities with positive or negative de jure or de facto control of the licensee. De jure control includes holding 50 percent or more of the voting stock of a corporation or holding a general partnership interest in a partnership. Ownership interests that are held indirectly by any party through one or more intervening corporations may be determined by successive multiplication of the ownership percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain and application of the relevant attribution benchmark to the resulting product, except that if the ownership percentage for an interest in any link in the chain meets or exceeds 50 percent or represents actual control, it may be treated as if it were a 100 percent interest. De facto control is determined on a case-by-case basis. Examples of de facto control include constituting or appointing 50 percent or more of the board of directors or management committee; having authority to appoint, promote, demote, and fire senior executives that control the day-to-day activities of the licensee; or playing an integral role in management decisions.

Note 2 to paragraph (c): The prohibition described in paragraph (c)(6)(ii) of this section applies to controlling interests, directors, officers, and holders of any 10 percent or greater ownership interest in the forward auction applicant as of the deadline for submitting short-form applications to participate in the forward auction, and any additional such parties at any subsequent point prior to the announcement by public notice of the results of the incentive auction. Thus, if, for example, a forward auction applicant appoints a new officer after the short-form application deadline, that new officer would be subject to the prohibition in paragraph (c)(6)(ii) of this section, but would not be included within the exception described in paragraph (c)(6)(iii) of this section.

[80 FR 56809, Sept. 18, 2015]

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§1.2106   Submission of upfront payments.

(a) The Commission may require applicants for licenses subject to competitive bidding to submit an upfront payment. In that event, the amount of the upfront payment and the procedures for submitting it will be set forth in a Public Notice. Any auction applicant that, pursuant to §1.2105(a)(2)(xii), certifies that it is a former defaulter must submit an upfront payment equal to 50 percent more than the amount that otherwise would be required. No interest will be paid on upfront payments.

(b) Upfront payments must be made by wire transfer in U.S. dollars from a financial institution whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and must be made payable to the Federal Communications Commission.

(c) If an upfront payment is not in compliance with the Commission's Rules, or if insufficient funds are tendered to constitute a valid upfront payment, the applicant shall have a limited opportunity to correct its submission to bring it up to the minimum valid upfront payment prior to the auction. If the applicant does not submit at least the minimum upfront payment, it will be ineligible to bid, its application will be dismissed and any upfront payment it has made will be returned.

(d) The upfront payment(s) of a bidder will be credited toward any down payment required for licenses on which the bidder is the high bidder. Where the upfront payment amount exceeds the required deposit of a winning bidder, the Commission may refund the excess amount after determining that no bid withdrawal penalties are owed by that bidder.

(e) In accordance with the provisions of paragraph (d), in the event a penalty is assessed pursuant to §1.2104 for bid withdrawal or default, upfront payments or down payments on deposit with the Commission will be used to satisfy the bid withdrawal or default penalty before being applied toward any additional payment obligations that the high bidder may have.

[59 FR 44293, Aug. 26, 1994, as amended at 62 FR 13543, Mar. 21, 1997; 65 FR 52345, Aug. 29, 2000; 79 FR 48530, Aug. 15, 2014; 80 FR 56813, Sept. 18, 2015]

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§1.2107   Submission of down payment and filing of long-form applications.

(a) After bidding has ended, the Commission will identify and notify the high bidder and declare the bidding closed.

(b) Unless otherwise specified by public notice, within ten (10) business days after being notified that it is a high bidder on a particular license(s), a high bidder must submit to the Commission's lockbox bank such additional funds (the “down payment”) as are necessary to bring its total deposits (not including upfront payments applied to satisfy bid withdrawal or default payments) up to twenty (20) percent of its high bid(s). (In single round sealed bid auctions conducted under §1.2103, however, bidders may be required to submit their down payments with their bids.) Unless otherwise specified by public notice, this down payment must be made by wire transfer in U.S. dollars from a financial institution whose deposits are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and must be made payable to the Federal Communications Commission. Down payments will be held by the Commission until the high bidder has been awarded the license and has paid the remaining balance due on the license or authorization, in which case it will not be returned, or until the winning bidder is found unqualified to be a licensee or has defaulted, in which case it will be returned, less applicable payments. No interest on any down payment will be paid to the bidders.

(c) A high bidder that meets its down payment obligations in a timely manner must, within ten (10) business days after being notified that it is a high bidder, submit an additional application (the “long-form application”) pursuant to the rules governing the service in which the applicant is the high bidder. Except as otherwise provided in §1.1104, high bidders need not submit an additional application filing fee with their long-form applications. Specific procedures for filing applications will be set out by Public Notice. Ownership disclosure requirements are set forth in §1.2112. Beginning January 1, 1999, all long-form applications must be filed electronically. An applicant that fails to submit the required long-form application under this paragraph and fails to establish good cause for any late-filed submission, shall be deemed to have defaulted and will be subject to the payments set forth in §1.2104.

(d) As an exhibit to its long-form application, the applicant must provide a detailed explanation of the terms and conditions and parties involved in any bidding consortia, joint venture, partnership or other agreement or arrangement it had entered into relating to the competitive bidding process prior to the time bidding was completed. Such agreements must have been entered into prior to the filing of short-form applications pursuant to §1.2105.

(e) A winning bidder that seeks a bidding credit to serve a qualifying tribal land, as defined in §1.2110(f)(3)(i), within a particular market must indicate on the long-form application (FCC Form 601) that it intends to serve a qualifying tribal land within that market.

(f) An applicant must also submit FCC Form 602 (see §1.919 of this chapter) with its long form application (FCC Form 601).

(g)(1)(i) A consortium participating in competitive bidding pursuant to §1.2110(b)(4)(i) that is a winning bidder may not apply as a consortium for licenses covered by the winning bids. Individual members of the consortium or new legal entities comprising individual consortium members may apply for the licenses covered by the winning bids of the consortium. An individual member of the consortium or a new legal entity comprising two or more individual consortium members applying for a license pursuant to this provision shall be the applicant for purposes of all related requirements and filings, such as filing FCC Form 602. However, the members filing separate long-form applications shall all use the consortium's FCC Registration Number (“FRN”) on their long-form applications. An application by an individual consortium member or a new legal entity comprising two or more individual consortium members for a license covered by the winning bids of the consortium shall not constitute a major modification of the application or a change in control of the applicant for purposes of Commission rules governing the application.

(ii) Within ten business days after release of the public notice announcing grant of a long-form application, that licensee must update its filings in the Commission's Universal Licensing System (“ULS”) to substitute its individual FRN for that of the consortium.

(2) The continuing eligibility for size-based benefits, such as size-based bidding credits or set-aside licenses, of a newly formed legal entity comprising two or more individual consortium members will be based on the size of such newly formed entity as of the filing of its long-form application.

(3) Members of a consortium intending to partition or disaggregate license(s) among individual members or new legal entities comprising two or more individual consortium members must select one member or one new legal entity comprising two or more individual consortium members to apply for the license(s). The applicant must include in its applications, as part of the explanation of terms and conditions provided pursuant to §1.2107(d), the agreement of the applicable parties to partition or disaggregate the relevant license(s). Upon grant of the long-form application for that license, the licensee must then apply to partition or disaggregate the license pursuant to those terms and conditions.

[59 FR 44293, Aug. 26, 1994, as amended at 61 FR 49075, Sept. 18, 1996; 62 FR 13543, Mar. 21, 1997; 63 FR 2342, Jan. 15, 1998; 63 FR 12659, Mar. 16, 1998; 63 FR 68942, Dec. 14, 1998; 65 FR 47354, Aug. 2, 2000; 67 FR 45365, July 9, 2002; 71 FR 6227, Feb. 7, 2006; 76 FR 37661, June 28, 2011; 80 FR 56813, Sept. 18, 2015]

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§1.2108   Procedures for filing petitions to deny against long-form applications.

(a) Where petitions to deny are otherwise provided for under the Act or the commission's Rules, and unless other service-specific procedures for the filing of such petitions are provided for elsewhere in the Commission's Rules, the procedures in this section shall apply to the filing of petitions to deny the long-form applications of winning bidders.

(b) Within a period specified by Public Notice and after the Commission by Public Notice announces that long-form applications have been accepted for filing, petitions to deny such applications may be filed. The period for filing petitions to deny shall be no more than ten (10) days. The appropriate licensing Bureau, within its discretion, may, in exigent circumstances, reduce this period of time to no less than five (5) days. Any such petitions must contain allegations of fact supported by affidavit of a person or persons with personal knowledge thereof.

(c) An applicant may file an opposition to any petition to deny, and the petitioner a reply to such opposition. Allegations of fact or denials thereof must be supported by affidavit of a person or persons with personal knowledge thereof. The time for filing such oppositions shall be at least five (5) days from the filing date for petitions to deny, and the time for filing replies shall be at least five (5) days from the filing date for oppositions. The Commission may grant a license based on any long-form application that has been accepted for filing. The Commission shall in no case grant licenses earlier than seven (7) days following issuance of a public notice announcing long-form applications have been accepted for filing.

(d) If the Commission determines that:

(1) An applicant is qualified and there is no substantial and material issue of fact concerning that determination, it will grant the application.

(2) An applicant is not qualified and that there is no substantial issue of fact concerning that determination, the Commission need not hold an evidentiary hearing and will deny the application.

(3) Substantial and material issues of fact require a hearing, it will conduct a hearing. The Commission may permit all or part of the evidence to be submitted in written form and may permit employees other than administrative law judges to preside at the taking of written evidence. Such hearing will be conducted on an expedited basis.

[59 FR 44293, Aug. 26, 1994, as amended at 63 FR 2343, Jan. 15, 1998; 65 FR 52345, Aug. 29, 2000]

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§1.2109   License grant, denial, default, and disqualification.

(a) Unless otherwise specified by public notice, auction winners are required to pay the balance of their winning bids in a lump sum within ten (10) business days following the release of a public notice establishing the payment deadline. If a winning bidder fails to pay the balance of its winning bids in a lump sum by the applicable deadline as specified by the Commission, it will be allowed to make payment within ten (10) business days after the payment deadline, provided that it also pays a late fee equal to five percent of the amount due. When a winning bidder fails to pay the balance of its winning bid by the late payment deadline, it is considered to be in default on its license(s) and subject to the applicable default payments. Licenses will be awarded upon the full and timely payment of winning bids and any applicable late fees.

(b) If a winning bidder withdraws its bid after the Commission has declared competitive bidding closed or fails to remit the required down payment within ten (10) business days after the Commission has declared competitive bidding closed, the bidder will be deemed to have defaulted, its application will be dismissed, and it will be liable for the default payment specified in §§1.2104(g)(2) or 1.2104(g)(3), whichever is applicable. In such event, the Commission, at its discretion, may either re-auction the license(s) to existing or new applicants or offer it to the other highest bidders (in descending order) at their final bids. If the license(s) is offered to the other highest bidders (in descending order), the down payment obligations set forth in §1.2107(b) will apply. However, in combinatorial bidding auctions, the Commission will only re-auction the license(s) to existing or new applicants. The Commission will not offer the package or licenses to the next highest bidder.

(c) A winning bidder who is found unqualified to be a licensee, fails to remit the balance of its winning bid in a timely manner, or defaults or is disqualified for any reason after having made the required down payment, will be deemed to have defaulted, its application will be dismissed, and it will be liable for the payment set forth in §§1.2104(g)(2) or 1.2104(g)(3), whichever is applicable. In such event, the Commission may either re-auction the license(s) to existing or new applicants or offer it to the other highest bidders (in descending order) at their final bids. However, in combinatorial bidding auctions, the Commission will only re-auction the license(s) to existing or new applicants. The Commission will not offer the package or licenses to the next highest bidder.

(d) Bidders who are found to have violated the antitrust laws or the Commission's rules in connection with their participation in the competitive bidding process may be subject, in addition to any other applicable sanctions, to forfeiture of their upfront payment, down payment or full bid amount, and may be prohibited from participating in future auctions.

[59 FR 44293, Aug. 26, 1994, as amended at 62 FR 13544, Mar. 21, 1997; 63 FR 2343, Jan. 15, 1998; 68 FR 42996, July 21, 2003]

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§1.2110   Designated entities.

(a) Designated entities are small businesses (including businesses owned by members of minority groups and/or women), rural telephone companies, and eligible rural service providers.

(b) Eligibility for small business and entrepreneur provisions— (1) Size attribution. (i) The gross revenues of the applicant (or licensee), its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests shall be attributed to the applicant (or licensee) and considered on a cumulative basis and aggregated for purposes of determining whether the applicant (or licensee) is eligible for status as a small business, very small business, or entrepreneur, as those terms are defined in the service-specific rules. An applicant seeking status as a small business, very small business, or entrepreneur, as those terms are defined in the service-specific rules, must disclose on its short- and long-form applications, separately and in the aggregate, the gross revenues for each of the previous three years of the applicant (or licensee), its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests.

(ii) If applicable, pursuant to §24.709 of this chapter, the total assets of the applicant (or licensee), its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests shall be attributed to the applicant (or licensee) and considered on a cumulative basis and aggregated for purposes of determining whether the applicant (or licensee) is eligible for status as an entrepreneur. An applicant seeking status as an entrepreneur must disclose on its short- and long-form applications, separately and in the aggregate, the gross revenues for each of the previous two years of the applicant (or licensee), its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests.

(2) Aggregation of affiliate interests. Persons or entities that hold interests in an applicant (or licensee) that are affiliates of each other or have an identity of interests identified in §1.2110(c)(5)(iii) will be treated as though they were one person or entity and their ownership interests aggregated for purposes of determining an applicant's (or licensee's) compliance with the requirements of this section.

Example 1 to paragraph (b)(2): ABC Corp. is owned by individuals, A, B and C, each having an equal one-third voting interest in ABC Corp. A and B together, with two-thirds of the stock have the power to control ABC Corp. and have an identity of interest. If A&B invest in DE Corp., a broadband PCS applicant for block C, A and B's separate interests in DE Corp. must be aggregated because A and B are to be treated as one person or entity.

Example 2 to paragraph (b)(2): ABC Corp. has subsidiary BC Corp., of which it holds a controlling 51 percent of the stock. If ABC Corp. and BC Corp., both invest in DE Corp., their separate interests in DE Corp. must be aggregated because ABC Corp. and BC Corp. are affiliates of each other.

(3) Standard for evaluating eligibility for small business benefits. To be eligible for small business benefits:

(i) An applicant must meet the applicable small business size standard in paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section, and

(ii) Must retain de jure and de facto control over the spectrum associated with the license(s) for which it seeks small business benefits. An applicant or licensee may lose eligibility for size-based benefits for one or more licenses without losing general eligibility for size-based benefits so long as it retains de jure and de facto control of its overall business.

(4) Exceptions—(i) Consortium. Where an applicant to participate in bidding for Commission licenses or permits is a consortium of entities eligible for size-based bidding credits and/or closed bidding based on gross revenues and/or total assets, the gross revenues and/or total assets of each consortium member shall not be aggregated. Where an applicant to participate in bidding for Commission licenses or permits is a consortium of entities eligible for rural service provider bidding credits pursuant to paragraph (f)(4) of this section, the subscribers of each consortium member shall not be aggregated. Each consortium member must constitute a separate and distinct legal entity to qualify for this exception. Consortia that are winning bidders using this exception must comply with the requirements of §1.2107(g) of this chapter as a condition of license grant.

(ii) Applicants without identifiable controlling interests. Where an applicant (or licensee) cannot identify controlling interests under the standards set forth in this section, the gross revenues of all interest holders in the applicant, and their affiliates, will be attributable.

(iii) Rural telephone cooperatives. (A)(1) An applicant will be exempt from §1.2110(c)(2)(ii)(F) for the purpose of attribution in §1.2110(b)(1), if the applicant or a controlling interest in the applicant, as the case may be, meets all of the following conditions:

(i) The applicant (or the controlling interest) is organized as a cooperative pursuant to state law;

(ii) The applicant (or the controlling interest) is a “rural telephone company” as defined by the Communications Act; and

(iii) The applicant (or the controlling interest) demonstrates either that it is eligible for tax-exempt status under the Internal Revenue Code or that it adheres to the cooperative principles articulated in Puget Sound Plywood, Inc. v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, 44 T.C. 305 (1965).

(2) If the condition in paragraph (b)(3)(iii)(A)(1)(i) above cannot be met because the relevant jurisdiction has not enacted an organic statute that specifies requirements for organization as a cooperative, the applicant must show that it is validly organized and its articles of incorporation, by-laws, and/or other relevant organic documents provide that it operates pursuant to cooperative principles.

(B) However, if the applicant is not an eligible rural telephone cooperative under paragraph (a) of this section, and the applicant has a controlling interest other than the applicant's officers and directors or an eligible rural telephone cooperative's officers and directors, paragraph (a) of this section applies with respect to the applicant's officers and directors and such controlling interest's officers and directors only when such controlling interest is either:

(1) An eligible rural telephone cooperative under paragraph (a) of this section or

(2) controlled by an eligible rural telephone cooperative under paragraph (a) of this section.

(c) Definitions—(1) Small businesses. The Commission will establish the definition of a small business on a service-specific basis, taking into consideration the characteristics and capital requirements of the particular service.

(2) Controlling interests. (i) For purposes of this section, controlling interest includes individuals or entities with either de jure or de facto control of the applicant. De jure control is evidenced by holdings of greater than 50 percent of the voting stock of a corporation, or in the case of a partnership, general partnership interests. De facto control is determined on a case-by-case basis. An entity must disclose its equity interest and demonstrate at least the following indicia of control to establish that it retains de facto control of the applicant:

(A) The entity constitutes or appoints more than 50 percent of the board of directors or management committee;

(B) The entity has authority to appoint, promote, demote, and fire senior executives that control the day-to-day activities of the licensee; and

(C) The entity plays an integral role in management decisions.

(ii) Calculation of certain interests. (A) Fully diluted requirement. (1) Except as set forth in paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A)(2) of this section, ownership interests shall be calculated on a fully diluted basis; all agreements such as warrants, stock options and convertible debentures will generally be treated as if the rights thereunder already have been fully exercised.

(2) Rights of first refusal and put options shall not be calculated on a fully diluted basis for purposes of determining de jure control; however, rights of first refusal and put options shall be calculated on a fully diluted basis if such ownership interests, in combination with other terms to an agreement, deprive an otherwise qualified applicant or licensee of de facto control.

Note to paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A): Mutually exclusive contingent ownership interests, i.e., one or more ownership interests that, by their terms, are mutually exclusive of one or more other ownership interests, shall be calculated as having been fully exercised only in the possible combinations in which they can be exercised by their holder(s). A contingent ownership interest is mutually exclusive of another only if contractual language specifies that both interests cannot be held simultaneously as present ownership interests.

(B) Partnership and other ownership interests and any stock interest equity, or outstanding stock, or outstanding voting stock shall be attributed as specified.

(C) Stock interests held in trust shall be attributed to any person who holds or shares the power to vote such stock, to any person who has the sole power to sell such stock, and to any person who has the right to revoke the trust at will or to replace the trustee at will. If the trustee has a familial, personal, or extra-trust business relationship to the grantor or the beneficiary, the grantor or beneficiary, as appropriate, will be attributed with the stock interests held in trust.

(D) Non-voting stock shall be attributed as an interest in the issuing entity.

(E) Limited partnership interests shall be attributed to limited partners and shall be calculated according to both the percentage of equity paid in and the percentage of distribution of profits and losses.

(F) Officers and directors of the applicant shall be considered to have a controlling interest in the applicant. The officers and directors of an entity that controls a licensee or applicant shall be considered to have a controlling interest in the licensee or applicant. The personal net worth, including personal income of the officers and directors of an applicant, is not attributed to the applicant. To the extent that the officers and directors of an applicant are affiliates of other entities, the gross revenues of the other entities are attributed to the applicant.

(G) Ownership interests that are held indirectly by any party through one or more intervening corporations will be determined by successive multiplication of the ownership percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain and application of the relevant attribution benchmark to the resulting product, except that if the ownership percentage for an interest in any link in the chain exceeds 50 percent or represents actual control, it shall be treated as if it were a 100 percent interest.

(H) Any person who manages the operations of an applicant or licensee pursuant to a management agreement shall be considered to have a controlling interest in such applicant or licensee if such person, or its affiliate, has authority to make decisions or otherwise engage in practices or activities that determine, or significantly influence:

(1) The nature or types of services offered by such an applicant or licensee;

(2) The terms upon which such services are offered; or

(3) The prices charged for such services.

(I) Any licensee or its affiliate who enters into a joint marketing arrangement with an applicant or licensee, or its affiliate, shall be considered to have a controlling interest, if such applicant or licensee, or its affiliate, has authority to make decisions or otherwise engage in practices or activities that determine, or significantly influence:

(1) The nature or types of services offered by such an applicant or licensee;

(2) The terms upon which such services are offered; or

(3) The prices charged for such services.

(J) In addition to the provisions of paragraphs (b)(1)(i) and (f)(4)(i)(C) of this section, for purposes of determining an applicant's or licensee's eligibility for bidding credits for designated entity benefits, the gross revenues (or, in the case of a rural service provider under paragraph (f)(4) of this section, the subscribers) of any disclosable interest holder of an applicant or licensee are also attributable to the applicant or licensee, on a license-by-license basis, if the disclosable interest holder uses, or has an agreement to use, more than 25 percent of the spectrum capacity of a license awarded with bidding credits. For purposes of this provision, a disclosable interest holder in a designated entity applicant or licensee is defined as any individual or entity holding a ten percent or greater interest of any kind in the designated entity, including but not limited to, a ten percent or greater interest in any class of stock, warrants, options or debt securities in the applicant or licensee. This rule, however, shall not cause a disclosable interest holder, which is not otherwise a controlling interest, affiliate, or an affiliate of a controlling interest of a rural service provider to have the disclosable interest holder's subscribers become attributable to the rural service provider applicant or licensee when the disclosable interest holder has a spectrum use agreement to use more than 25 percent of the spectrum capacity of a license awarded with a rural service provider bidding credit, so long as

(1) The disclosable interest holder is independently eligible for a rural service provider bidding credit, and;

(2) The disclosable interest holder's spectrum use and any spectrum use agreements are otherwise permissible under the Commission's rules.

(3) Businesses owned by members of minority groups and/or women. Unless otherwise provided in rules governing specific services, a business owned by members of minority groups and/or women is one in which minorities and/or women who are U.S. citizens control the applicant, have at least greater than 50 percent equity ownership and, in the case of a corporate applicant, have a greater than 50 percent voting interest. For applicants that are partnerships, every general partner must be either a minority and/or woman (or minorities and/or women) who are U.S. citizens and who individually or together own at least 50 percent of the partnership equity, or an entity that is 100 percent owned and controlled by minorities and/or women who are U.S. citizens. The interests of minorities and women are to be calculated on a fully diluted basis; agreements such as stock options and convertible debentures shall be considered to have a present effect on the power to control an entity and shall be treated as if the rights thereunder already have been fully exercised. However, upon a demonstration that options or conversion rights held by non-controlling principals will not deprive the minority and female principals of a substantial financial stake in the venture or impair their rights to control the designated entity, a designated entity may seek a waiver of the requirement that the equity of the minority and female principals must be calculated on a fully-diluted basis. The term minority includes individuals of Black or African American, Hispanic or Latino, American Indian or Alaskan Native, Asian, and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander extraction.

(4) Rural telephone companies. A rural telephone company is any local exchange carrier operating entity to the extent that such entity—

(i) Provides common carrier service to any local exchange carrier study area that does not include either:

(A) Any incorporated place of 10,000 inhabitants or more, or any part thereof, based on the most recently available population statistics of the Bureau of the Census, or

(B) Any territory, incorporated or unincorporated, included in an urbanized area, as defined by the Bureau of the Census as of August 10, 1993;

(ii) Provides telephone exchange service, including exchange access, to fewer than 50,000 access lines;

(iii) Provides telephone exchange service to any local exchange carrier study area with fewer than 100,000 access lines; or

(iv) Has less than 15 percent of its access lines in communities of more than 50,000 on the date of enactment of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

(5) Affiliate. (i) An individual or entity is an affiliate of an applicant or of a person holding an attributable interest in an applicant if such individual or entity—

(A) Directly or indirectly controls or has the power to control the applicant, or

(B) Is directly or indirectly controlled by the applicant, or

(C) Is directly or indirectly controlled by a third party or parties that also controls or has the power to control the applicant, or

(D) Has an “identity of interest” with the applicant.

(ii) Nature of control in determining affiliation.

(A) Every business concern is considered to have one or more parties who directly or indirectly control or have the power to control it. Control may be affirmative or negative and it is immaterial whether it is exercised so long as the power to control exists.

Example. An applicant owning 50 percent of the voting stock of another concern would have negative power to control such concern since such party can block any action of the other stockholders. Also, the bylaws of a corporation may permit a stockholder with less than 50 percent of the voting stock to block any actions taken by the other stockholders in the other entity. Affiliation exists when the applicant has the power to control a concern while at the same time another person, or persons, are in control of the concern at the will of the party or parties with the power to control.

(B) Control can arise through stock ownership; occupancy of director, officer or key employee positions; contractual or other business relations; or combinations of these and other factors. A key employee is an employee who, because of his/her position in the concern, has a critical influence in or substantive control over the operations or management of the concern.

(C) Control can arise through management positions where a concern's voting stock is so widely distributed that no effective control can be established.

Example. In a corporation where the officers and directors own various size blocks of stock totaling 40 percent of the corporation's voting stock, but no officer or director has a block sufficient to give him or her control or the power to control and the remaining 60 percent is widely distributed with no individual stockholder having a stock interest greater than 10 percent, management has the power to control. If persons with such management control of the other entity are persons with attributable interests in the applicant, the other entity will be deemed an affiliate of the applicant.

(iii) Identity of interest between and among persons. Affiliation can arise between or among two or more persons with an identity of interest, such as members of the same family or persons with common investments. In determining if the applicant controls or has the power to control a concern, persons with an identity of interest will be treated as though they were one person.

Example. Two shareholders in Corporation Y each have attributable interests in the same PCS application. While neither shareholder has enough shares to individually control Corporation Y, together they have the power to control Corporation Y. The two shareholders with these common investments (or identity in interest) are treated as though they are one person and Corporation Y would be deemed an affiliate of the applicant.

(A) Spousal affiliation. Both spouses are deemed to own or control or have the power to control interests owned or controlled by either of them, unless they are subject to a legal separation recognized by a court of competent jurisdiction in the United States. In calculating their net worth, investors who are legally separated must include their share of interests in property held jointly with a spouse.

(B) Kinship affiliation. Immediate family members will be presumed to own or control or have the power to control interests owned or controlled by other immediate family members. In this context “immediate family member” means father, mother, husband, wife, son, daughter, brother, sister, father- or mother-in-law, son- or daughter-in-law, brother- or sister-in-law, step-father or -mother, step-brother or -sister, step-son or -daughter, half brother or sister. This presumption may be rebutted by showing that the family members are estranged, the family ties are remote, or the family members are not closely involved with each other in business matters.

Example. A owns a controlling interest in Corporation X. A's sister-in-law, B, has an attributable interest in a PCS application. Because A and B have a presumptive kinship affiliation, A's interest in Corporation Y is attributable to B, and thus to the applicant, unless B rebuts the presumption with the necessary showing.

(iv) Affiliation through stock ownership. (A) An applicant is presumed to control or have the power to control a concern if he or she owns or controls or has the power to control 50 percent or more of its voting stock.

(B) An applicant is presumed to control or have the power to control a concern even though he or she owns, controls or has the power to control less than 50 percent of the concern's voting stock, if the block of stock he or she owns, controls or has the power to control is large as compared with any other outstanding block of stock.

(C) If two or more persons each owns, controls or has the power to control less than 50 percent of the voting stock of a concern, such minority holdings are equal or approximately equal in size, and the aggregate of these minority holdings is large as compared with any other stock holding, the presumption arises that each one of these persons individually controls or has the power to control the concern; however, such presumption may be rebutted by a showing that such control or power to control, in fact, does not exist.

(v) Affiliation arising under stock options, convertible debentures, and agreements to merge. Except as set forth in paragraph (c)(2)(ii)(A)(2) of this section, stock options, convertible debentures, and agreements to merge (including agreements in principle) are generally considered to have a present effect on the power to control the concern. Therefore, in making a size determination, such options, debentures, and agreements are generally treated as though the rights held thereunder had been exercised. However, an affiliate cannot use such options and debentures to appear to terminate its control over another concern before it actually does so.

Example 1 to paragraph (c)(5)(v). If company B holds an option to purchase a controlling interest in company A, who holds an attributable interest in a PCS application, the situation is treated as though company B had exercised its rights and had become owner of a controlling interest in company A. The gross revenues of company B must be taken into account in determining the size of the applicant.

Example 2. If a large company, BigCo, holds 70% (70 of 100 outstanding shares) of the voting stock of company A, who holds an attributable interest in a PCS application, and gives a third party, SmallCo, an option to purchase 50 of the 70 shares owned by BigCo, BigCo will be deemed to be an affiliate of company A, and thus the applicant, until SmallCo actually exercises its option to purchase such shares. In order to prevent BigCo from circumventing the intent of the rule which requires such options to be considered on a fully diluted basis, the option is not considered to have present effect in this case.

Example 3. If company A has entered into an agreement to merge with company B in the future, the situation is treated as though the merger has taken place.

Note to paragraph (c)(5)(v): Mutually exclusive contingent ownership interests, i.e., one or more ownership interests that, by their terms, are mutually exclusive of one or more other ownership interests, shall be calculated as having been fully exercised only in the possible combinations in which they can be exercised by their holder(s). A contingent ownership interest is mutually exclusive of another only if contractual language specifies that both interests cannot be held simultaneously as present ownership interests.

(vi) Affiliation under voting trusts. (A) Stock interests held in trust shall be deemed controlled by any person who holds or shares the power to vote such stock, to any person who has the sole power to sell such stock, and to any person who has the right to revoke the trust at will or to replace the trustee at will.

(B) If a trustee has a familial, personal or extra-trust business relationship to the grantor or the beneficiary, the stock interests held in trust will be deemed controlled by the grantor or beneficiary, as appropriate.

(C) If the primary purpose of a voting trust, or similar agreement, is to separate voting power from beneficial ownership of voting stock for the purpose of shifting control of or the power to control a concern in order that such concern or another concern may meet the Commission's size standards, such voting trust shall not be considered valid for this purpose regardless of whether it is or is not recognized within the appropriate jurisdiction.

(vii) Affiliation through common management. Affiliation generally arises where officers, directors, or key employees serve as the majority or otherwise as the controlling element of the board of directors and/or the management of another entity.

(viii) Affiliation through common facilities. Affiliation generally arises where one concern shares office space and/or employees and/or other facilities with another concern, particularly where such concerns are in the same or related industry or field of operations, or where such concerns were formerly affiliated, and through these sharing arrangements one concern has control, or potential control, of the other concern.

(ix) Affiliation through contractual relationships. Affiliation generally arises where one concern is dependent upon another concern for contracts and business to such a degree that one concern has control, or potential control, of the other concern.

(x) Affiliation under joint venture arrangements. (A) A joint venture for size determination purposes is an association of concerns and/or individuals, with interests in any degree or proportion, formed by contract, express or implied, to engage in and carry out a single, specific business venture for joint profit for which purpose they combine their efforts, property, money, skill and knowledge, but not on a continuing or permanent basis for conducting business generally. The determination whether an entity is a joint venture is based upon the facts of the business operation, regardless of how the business operation may be designated by the parties involved. An agreement to share profits/losses proportionate to each party's contribution to the business operation is a significant factor in determining whether the business operation is a joint venture.

(B) The parties to a joint venture are considered to be affiliated with each other. Nothing in this subsection shall be construed to define a small business consortium, for purposes of determining status as a designated entity, as a joint venture under attribution standards provided in this section.

(xi) Exclusion from affiliation coverage. For purposes of this section, Indian tribes or Alaska Regional or Village Corporations organized pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (43 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.), or entities owned and controlled by such tribes or corporations, are not considered affiliates of an applicant (or licensee) that is owned and controlled by such tribes, corporations or entities, and that otherwise complies with the requirements of this section, except that gross revenues derived from gaming activities conducted by affiliate entities pursuant to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (25 U.S.C. 2701 et seq.) will be counted in determining such applicant's (or licensee's) compliance with the financial requirements of this section, unless such applicant establishes that it will not receive a substantial unfair competitive advantage because significant legal constraints restrict the applicant's ability to access such gross revenues.

(6) Consortium. A consortium of small businesses, very small businesses, entrepreneurs, or rural service providers is a conglomerate organization composed of two or more entities, each of which individually satisfies the definition of a small business, very small business, entrepreneur, or rural service provider as those terms are defined in this section and in applicable service-specific rules. Each individual member must constitute a separate and distinct legal entity to qualify.

(d) The Commission may set aside specific licenses for which only eligible designated entities, as specified by the Commission, may bid.

(e) The Commission may permit partitioning of service areas in particular services for eligible designated entities.

(f) Bidding credits. (1) The Commission may award bidding credits (i.e., payment discounts) to eligible designated entities. Competitive bidding rules applicable to individual services will specify the designated entities eligible for bidding credits, the licenses for which bidding credits are available, the amounts of bidding credits and other procedures.

(2) Small business bidding credits.—(i) Size of bidding credits. A winning bidder that qualifies as a small business, and has not claimed a rural service provider bidding credit pursuant to paragraph (f)(4) of this section, may use the following bidding credits corresponding to its respective average gross revenues for the preceding 3 years:

(A) Businesses with average gross revenues for the preceding 3 years not exceeding $4 million are eligible for bidding credits of 35 percent;

(B) Businesses with average gross revenues for the preceding 3 years not exceeding $20 million are eligible for bidding credits of 25 percent; and

(C) Businesses with average gross revenues for the preceding 3 years not exceeding $55 million are eligible for bidding credits of 15 percent.

(ii) Cap on winning bid discount. A maximum total discount that a winning bidder that is eligible for a small business bidding credit may receive will be established on an auction-by-auction basis. The limit on the discount that a winning bidder that is eligible for a small business bidding credit may receive in any particular auction will be no less than $25 million. The Commission may adopt a market-based cap on an auction-by-auction basis that would establish an overall limit on the discount that a small business may receive for certain license areas.

(3) Bidding credit for serving qualifying tribal land. A winning bidder for a market will be eligible to receive a bidding credit for serving a qualifying tribal land within that market, provided that it complies with §1.2107(e). The following definition, terms, and conditions shall apply for the purposes of this section and §1.2107(e):

(i) Qualifying tribal land means any federally recognized Indian tribe's reservation, Pueblo, or Colony, including former reservations in Oklahoma, Alaska Native regions established pursuant to the Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act (85 Stat. 688), and Indian allotments, that has a wireline telephone subscription rate equal to or less than eighty-five (85) percent based on the most recently available U.S. Census Data.

(ii) Certification. (A) Within 180 days after the filing deadline for long-form applications, the winning bidder must amend its long-form application and attach a certification from the tribal government stating the following:

(1) The tribal government authorizes the winning bidder to site facilities and provide service on its tribal land;

(2) The tribal area to be served by the winning bidder constitutes qualifying tribal land; and

(3) The tribal government has not and will not enter into an exclusive contract with the applicant precluding entry by other carriers, and will not unreasonably discriminate among wireless carriers seeking to provide service on the qualifying tribal land.

(B) In addition, within 180 days after the filing deadline for long-form applications, the winning bidder must amend its long-form application and file a certification that it will comply with the construction requirements set forth in paragraph (f)(3)(vii) of this section and consult with the tribal government regarding the siting of facilities and deployment of service on the tribal land.

(C) If the winning bidder fails to submit the required certifications within the 180-day period, the bidding credit will not be awarded, and the winning bidder must pay any outstanding balance on its winning bid amount.

(iii) Bidding credit formula. Subject to the applicable bidding credit limit set forth in §1.2110(f)(3)(iv), the bidding credit shall equal five hundred thousand (500,000) dollars for the first two hundred (200) square miles (518 square kilometers) of qualifying tribal land, and twenty-five hundred (2500) dollars for each additional square mile (2.590 square kilometers) of qualifying tribal land above two hundred (200) square miles (518 square kilometers).

(iv) Bidding credit limit. If the high bid is equal to or less than one million (1,000,000) dollars, the maximum bidding credit calculated pursuant to §1.2110(f)(3)(iii) shall not exceed fifty (50) percent of the high bid. If the high bid is greater than one million (1,000,000) dollars, but equal to or less than two million (2,000,000) dollars, the maximum bidding credit calculated pursuant to §1.2110(f)(3)(iii) shall not exceed five hundred thousand (500,000) dollars. If the high bid is greater than two million (2,000,000) dollars, the maximum bidding credit calculated pursuant to §1.2110(f)(3)(iii) shall not exceed thirty-five (35) percent of the high bid.

(v) Bidding credit limit in auctions subject to specified reserve price(s). In any auction of eligible frequencies described in section 113(g)(2) of the National Telecommunications and Information Administration Organization Act (47 U.S.C. 923(g)(2) with reserve price(s) and in any auction with reserve price(s) in which the Commission specifies that this provision shall apply, the aggregate amount available to be awarded as bidding credits for serving qualifying tribal land with respect to all licenses subject to a reserve price shall not exceed the amount by which winning bids for those licenses net of discounts the Commission takes into account when reporting net bids in the Public Notice closing the auction exceed the applicable reserve price. If the total amount that might be awarded as tribal land bidding credits based on applications for all licenses subject to the reserve price exceeds the aggregate amount available to be awarded, the Commission will award eligible applicants a pro rata tribal land bidding credit. The Commission may determine at any time that the total amount that might be awarded as tribal land bidding credits is less than the aggregate amount available to be awarded and grant full tribal land bidding credits to relevant applicants, including any that previously received pro rata tribal land bidding credits. To determine the amount of an applicant's pro rata tribal land bidding credit, the Commission will multiply the full amount of the tribal land bidding credit for which the applicant would be eligible excepting this limitation ((f)(3)(v)) of this section by a fraction, consisting of a numerator in the amount by which winning bids for licenses subject to the reserve price net of discounts the Commission takes into account when reporting net bids in the Public Notice closing the auction exceed the reserve price and a denominator in the amount of the aggregate maximum tribal land bidding credits for which applicants for such licenses might have qualified excepting this limitation ((f)(3)(v)) of this section. When determining the aggregate maximum tribal land bidding credits for which applicants for such licenses might have qualified, the Commission shall assume that any applicant seeking a tribal land bidding credit on its long-form application will be eligible for the largest tribal land bidding credit possible for its bid for its license excepting this limitation ((f)(3)(v)) of this section. After all applications seeking a tribal land bidding credit with respect to licenses covered by a reserve price have been finally resolved, the Commission will recalculate the pro rata credit. For these purposes, final determination of a credit occurs only after any review or reconsideration of the award of such credit has been concluded and no opportunity remains for further review or reconsideration. To recalculate an applicant's pro rata tribal land bidding credit, the Commission will multiply the full amount of the tribal land bidding credit for which the applicant would be eligible excepting this limitation ((f)(3)(v)) of this section by a fraction, consisting of a numerator in the amount by which winning bids for licenses subject to the reserve price net of discounts the Commission takes into account when reporting net bids in the Public Notice closing the auction exceed the reserve price and a denominator in the amount of the aggregate amount of tribal land bidding credits for which all applicants for such licenses would have qualified excepting this limitation ((f)(3)(v)) of this section.

(vi) Application of credit. A pending request for a bidding credit for serving qualifying tribal land has no effect on a bidder's obligations to make any auction payments, including down and final payments on winning bids, prior to award of the bidding credit by the Commission. Tribal land bidding credits will be calculated and awarded prior to license grant. If the Commission grants an applicant a pro rata tribal land bidding credit prior to license grant, as provided by paragraph (f)(3)(v) of this section, the Commission shall recalculate the applicant's pro rata tribal land bidding credit after all applications seeking tribal land biddings for licenses subject to the same reserve price have been finally resolved. If a recalculated tribal land bidding credit is larger than the previously awarded pro rata tribal land bidding credit, the Commission will award the difference.

(vii) Post-construction certification. Within fifteen (15) days of the third anniversary of the initial grant of its license, a recipient of a bidding credit under this section shall file a certification that the recipient has constructed and is operating a system capable of serving seventy-five (75) percent of the population of the qualifying tribal land for which the credit was awarded. The recipient must provide the total population of the tribal area covered by its license as well as the number of persons that it is serving in the tribal area.

(viii) Performance penalties. If a recipient of a bidding credit under this section fails to provide the post-construction certification required by paragraph (f)(3)(vii) of this section, then it shall repay the bidding credit amount in its entirety, plus interest. The interest will be based on the rate for ten-year U.S. Treasury obligations applicable on the date the license is granted. Such payment shall be made within thirty (30) days of the third anniversary of the initial grant of its license. Failure to repay the bidding credit amount and interest within the required time period will result in automatic termination of the license without specific Commission action. Repayment of bidding credit amounts pursuant to this provision shall not affect the calculation of amounts available to be awarded as tribal land bidding credits pursuant to (f)(3)(v) of this section.

(4) Rural service provider bidding credit—(i) Eligibility. A winning bidder that qualifies as a rural service provider and has not claimed a small business bidding credit pursuant to paragraph (f)(2) of this section will be eligible to receive a 15 percent bidding credit. For the purposes of this paragraph, a rural service provider means a service provider that—

(A) Is in the business of providing commercial communications services and together with its controlling interests, affiliates, and the affiliates of its controlling interests as those terms are defined in paragraphs (c)(2) and (c)(5) of this section, has fewer than 250,000 combined wireless, wireline, broadband, and cable subscribers as of the date of the short-form filing deadline; and

(B) Serves predominantly rural areas, defined as counties with a population density of 100 or fewer persons per square mile.

(C) Size attribution. (1) The combined wireless, wireline, broadband, and cable subscribers of the applicant (or licensee), its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests shall be attributed to the applicant (or licensee) and considered on a cumulative basis and aggregated for purposes of determining whether the applicant (or licensee) is eligible for the rural service provider bidding credit.

(2) Exception. For rural partnerships providing service as of July 16, 2015, the Commission will determine eligibility for the 15 percent rural service provider bidding credit by evaluating whether the individual members of the rural partnership individually have fewer than 250,000 combined wireless, wireline, broadband, and cable subscribers, and for those types of rural partnerships, the subscribers will not be aggregated.

(ii) Cap on winning bid discount. A maximum total discount that a winning bidder that is eligible for a rural service provider bidding credit may receive will be established on an auction-by-auction basis. The limit on the discount that a winning bidder that is eligible for a rural service provider bidding credit may receive in any particular auction will be no less than $10 million. The Commission may adopt a market-based cap on an auction-by-auction basis that would establish an overall limit on the discount that a rural service provider may receive for certain license areas.

(g) Installment payments. The Commission may permit small businesses (including small businesses owned by women, minorities, or rural telephone companies that qualify as small businesses) and other entities determined to be eligible on a service-specific basis, which are high bidders for licenses specified by the Commission, to pay the full amount of their high bids in installments over the term of their licenses pursuant to the following:

(1) Unless otherwise specified by public notice, each eligible applicant paying for its license(s) on an installment basis must deposit by wire transfer in the manner specified in §1.2107(b) sufficient additional funds as are necessary to bring its total deposits to ten (10) percent of its winning bid(s) within ten (10) days after the Commission has declared it the winning bidder and closed the bidding. Failure to remit the required payment will make the bidder liable to pay a default payment pursuant to §1.2104(g)(2).

(2) Within ten (10) days of the conditional grant of the license application of a winning bidder eligible for installment payments, the licensee shall pay another ten (10) percent of the high bid, thereby commencing the eligible licensee's installment payment plan. If a winning bidder eligible for installment payments fails to submit this additional ten (10) percent of its high bid by the applicable deadline as specified by the Commission, it will be allowed to make payment within ten (10) business days after the payment deadline, provided that it also pays a late fee equal to five percent of the amount due. When a winning bidder eligible for installment payments fails to submit this additional ten (10) percent of its winning bid, plus the late fee, by the late payment deadline, it is considered to be in default on its license(s) and subject to the applicable default payments. Licenses will be awarded upon the full and timely payment of second down payments and any applicable late fees.

(3) Upon grant of the license, the Commission will notify each eligible licensee of the terms of its installment payment plan and that it must execute a promissory note and security agreement as a condition of the installment payment plan. Unless other terms are specified in the rules of particular services, such plans will:

(i) Impose interest based on the rate of U.S. Treasury obligations (with maturities closest to the duration of the license term) at the time of licensing;

(ii) Allow installment payments for the full license term;

(iii) Begin with interest-only payments for the first two years; and

(iv) Amortize principal and interest over the remaining term of the license.

(4) A license granted to an eligible entity that elects installment payments shall be conditioned upon the full and timely performance of the licensee's payment obligations under the installment plan.

(i) Any licensee that fails to submit its quarterly payment on an installment payment obligation (the “Required Installment Payment”) may submit such payment on or before the last day of the next quarter (the “first additional quarter”) without being considered delinquent. Any licensee making its Required Installment Payment during this period (the “first additional quarter grace period”) will be assessed a late payment fee equal to five percent (5%) of the amount of the past due Required Installment Payment. The late payment fee applies to the total Required Installment Payment regardless of whether the licensee submitted a portion of its Required Installment Payment in a timely manner.

(ii) If any licensee fails to make the Required Installment Payment on or before the last day of the first additional quarter set forth in paragraph (g)(4)(i) of this section, the licensee may submit its Required Installment Payment on or before the last day of the next quarter (the “second additional quarter”), except that no such additional time will be provided for the July 31, 1998 suspension interest and installment payments from C or F block licensees that are not made within 90 days of the payment resumption date for those licensees, as explained in Amendment of the Commission's Rules Regarding Installment Payment Financing for Personal Communications Services (PCS) Licensees, Order on Reconsideration of the Second Report and Order, WT Docket No. 97-82, 13 FCC Rcd 8345 (1998). Any licensee making the Required Installment Payment during the second additional quarter (the “second additional quarter grace period”) will be assessed a late payment fee equal to ten percent (10%) of the amount of the past due Required Installment Payment. Licensees shall not be required to submit any form of request in order to take advantage of the first and second additional quarter grace periods.

(iii) All licensees that avail themselves of these grace periods must pay the associated late payment fee(s) and the Required Installment Payment prior to the conclusion of the applicable additional quarter grace period(s). Payments made at the close of any grace period(s) will first be applied to satisfy any lender advances as required under each licensee's “Note and Security Agreement,” with the remainder of such payments applied in the following order: late payment fees, interest charges, installment payments for the most back-due quarterly installment payment.

(iv) If an eligible entity obligated to make installment payments fails to pay the total Required Installment Payment, interest and any late payment fees associated with the Required Installment Payment within two quarters (6 months) of the Required Installment Payment due date, it shall be in default, its license shall automatically cancel, and it will be subject to debt collection procedures. A licensee in the PCS C or F blocks shall be in default, its license shall automatically cancel, and it will be subject to debt collection procedures, if the payment due on the payment resumption date, referenced in paragraph (g)(4)(ii) of this section, is more than ninety (90) days delinquent.

(h) The Commission may establish different upfront payment requirements for categories of designated entities in competitive bidding rules of particular auctionable services.

(i) The Commission may offer designated entities a combination of the available preferences or additional preferences.

(j) Designated entities must describe on their long-form applications how they satisfy the requirements for eligibility for designated entity status, and must list and summarize on their long-form applications all agreements that affect designated entity status such as partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, management agreements, spectrum leasing arrangements, spectrum resale (including wholesale) arrangements, spectrum use agreements, and all other agreements including oral agreements, establishing as applicable, de facto or de jure control of the entity. Designated entities also must provide the date(s) on which they entered into each of the agreements listed. In addition, designated entities must file with their long-form applications a copy of each such agreement. In order to enable the Commission to audit designated entity eligibility on an ongoing basis, designated entities that are awarded eligibility must, for the term of the license, maintain at their facilities or with their designated agents the lists, summaries, dates and copies of agreements required to be identified and provided to the Commission pursuant to this paragraph and to §1.2114.

(k) The Commission may, on a service-specific basis, permit consortia, each member of which individually meets the eligibility requirements, to qualify for any designated entity provisions.

(l) The Commission may, on a service-specific basis, permit publicly-traded companies that are owned by members of minority groups or women to qualify for any designated entity provisions.

(m) Audits. (1) Applicants and licensees claiming eligibility shall be subject to audits by the Commission, using in-house and contract resources. Selection for audit may be random, on information, or on the basis of other factors.

(2) Consent to such audits is part of the certification included in the short-form application (FCC Form 175). Such consent shall include consent to the audit of the applicant's or licensee's books, documents and other material (including accounting procedures and practices) regardless of form or type, sufficient to confirm that such applicant's or licensee's representations are, and remain, accurate. Such consent shall include inspection at all reasonable times of the facilities, or parts thereof, engaged in providing and transacting business, or keeping records regarding FCC-licensed service and shall also include consent to the interview of principals, employees, customers and suppliers of the applicant or licensee.

(n) Annual reports. (1) Each designated entity licensee must file with the Commission an annual report no later than September 30 of each year for each license it holds that was acquired using designated entity benefits and that, as of August 31 of the year in which the report is due (the “cut-off date”), remains subject to designated entity unjust enrichment requirements (a “designated entity license”). The annual report must provide the information described in paragraph (n)(2) of this section for the year ending on the cut-off date (the “reporting year”). If, during the reporting year, a designated entity has assigned or transferred a designated entity license to another designated entity, the designated entity that holds the designated entity license on September 30 of the year in which the application for the transaction is filed is responsible for filing the annual report.

(2) The annual report shall include, at a minimum, a list and summaries of all agreements and arrangements (including proposed agreements and arrangements) that relate to eligibility for designated entity benefits. In addition to a summary of each agreement or arrangement, this list must include the parties (including affiliates, controlling interests, and affiliates of controlling interests) to each agreement or arrangement, as well as the dates on which the parties entered into each agreement or arrangement.

(3) A designated entity need not list and summarize on its annual report the agreements and arrangements otherwise required to be included under paragraphs (n)(1) and (n)(2) of this section if it has already filed that information with the Commission, and the information on file remains current. In such a situation, the designated entity must instead include in its annual report both the ULS file number of the report or application containing the current information and the date on which that information was filed.

(o) Gross revenues. Gross revenues shall mean all income received by an entity, whether earned or passive, before any deductions are made for costs of doing business (e.g., cost of goods sold), as evidenced by audited financial statements for the relevant number of most recently completed calendar years or, if audited financial statements were not prepared on a calendar-year basis, for the most recently completed fiscal years preceding the filing of the applicant's short-form (FCC Form 175). If an entity was not in existence for all or part of the relevant period, gross revenues shall be evidenced by the audited financial statements of the entity's predecessor-in-interest or, if there is no identifiable predecessor-in-interest, unaudited financial statements certified by the applicant as accurate. When an applicant does not otherwise use audited financial statements, its gross revenues may be certified by its chief financial officer or its equivalent and must be prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.

(p) Total assets. Total assets shall mean the book value (except where generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) require market valuation) of all property owned by an entity, whether real or personal, tangible or intangible, as evidenced by the most recently audited financial statements or certified by the applicant's chief financial offer or its equivalent if the applicant does not otherwise use audited financial statements.

[63 FR 2343, Jan. 15, 1998; 63 FR 12659, Mar. 16, 1998, as amended at 63 FR 17122, Apr. 8, 1998; 65 FR 47355, Aug. 2, 2000; 65 FR 52345, Aug. 29, 2000; 65 FR 68924, Nov. 15, 2000; 67 FR 16650, Apr. 8, 2002; 67 FR 45365, July 9, 2002; 68 FR 23422, May 2, 2003; 68 FR 42996, July 21, 2003; 69 FR 61321, Oct. 18, 2004; 70 FR 57187, Sept. 30, 2005; 71 FR 6227, Feb. 7, 2006; 71 FR 26251, May 4, 2006; 77 FR 16470, Mar. 21, 2012; 80 FR 56813, Sept. 18, 2015]

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§1.2111   Assignment or transfer of control: unjust enrichment.

(a) Unjust enrichment payment: installment financing. (1) If a licensee that utilizes installment financing under this section seeks to assign or transfer control of its license to an entity not meeting the eligibility standards for installment payments, the licensee must make full payment of the remaining unpaid principal and any unpaid interest accrued through the date of assignment or transfer as a condition of approval.

(2) If a licensee that utilizes installment financing under this section seeks to make any change in ownership structure that would result in the licensee losing eligibility for installment payments, the licensee shall first seek Commission approval and must make full payment of the remaining unpaid principal and any unpaid interest accrued through the date of such change as a condition of approval. A licensee's (or other attributable entity's) increased gross revenues or increased total assets due to nonattributable equity investments, debt financing, revenue from operations or other investments, business development or expanded service shall not be considered to result in the licensee losing eligibility for installment payments.

(3) If a licensee seeks to make any change in ownership that would result in the licensee qualifying for a less favorable installment plan under this section, the licensee shall seek Commission approval and must adjust its payment plan to reflect its new eligibility status. A licensee may not switch its payment plan to a more favorable plan.

(b) Unjust enrichment payment: bidding credits.

(b) Unjust enrichment payment: bidding credits. (1) A licensee that utilizes a bidding credit, and that during the initial term seeks to assign or transfer control of a license to an entity that does not meet the eligibility criteria for a bidding credit, will be required to reimburse the U.S. Government for the amount of the bidding credit, plus interest based on the rate for ten year U.S. Treasury obligations applicable on the date the license was granted, as a condition of Commission approval of the assignment or transfer. If, within the initial term of the license, a licensee that utilizes a bidding credit seeks to assign or transfer control of a license to an entity that is eligible for a lower bidding credit, the difference between the bidding credit obtained by the assigning party and the bidding credit for which the acquiring party would qualify, plus interest based on the rate for ten year U.S. Treasury obligations applicable on the date the license is granted, must be paid to the U.S. Government as a condition of Commission approval of the assignment or transfer. If, within the initial term of the license, a licensee that utilizes a bidding credit seeks to make any ownership change that would result in the licensee losing eligibility for a bidding credit (or qualifying for a lower bidding credit), the amount of the bidding credit (or the difference between the bidding credit originally obtained and the bidding credit for which the licensee would qualify after restructuring), plus interest based on the rate for ten year U.S. Treasury obligations applicable on the date the license is granted, must be paid to the U.S. Government as a condition of Commission approval of the assignment or transfer or of a reportable eligibility event (see §1.2114).

(2) Payment schedule. (i) The amount of payments made pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section will be reduced over time as follows:

(A) A transfer in the first two years of the license term will result in a forfeiture of 100 percent of the value of the bidding credit (or in the case of very small businesses transferring to small businesses, 100 percent of the difference between the bidding credit received by the former and the bidding credit for which the latter is eligible);

(B) A transfer in year 3 of the license term will result in a forfeiture of 75 percent of the value of the bidding credit;

(C) A transfer in year 4 of the license term will result in a forfeiture of 50 percent of the value of the bidding credit;

(D) A transfer in year 5 of the license term will result in a forfeiture of 25 percent of the value of the bidding credit; and

(E) For a transfer in year 6 or thereafter, there will be no payment.

(ii) These payments will have to be paid to the United States Treasury as a condition of approval of the assignment, transfer, ownership change or reportable eligibility event (see §1.2114).

(c) Unjust enrichment: partitioning and disaggregation—(1) Installment payments. Licensees making installment payments, that partition their licenses or disaggregate their spectrum to entities not meeting the eligibility standards for installment payments, will be subject to the provisions concerning unjust enrichment as set forth in this section.

(2) Bidding credits. Licensees that received a bidding credit that partition their licenses or disaggregate their spectrum to entities not meeting the eligibility standards for such a bidding credit, will be subject to the provisions concerning unjust enrichment as set forth in this section.

(3) Apportioning unjust enrichment payments. Unjust enrichment payments for partitioned license areas shall be calculated based upon the ratio of the population of the partitioned license area to the overall population of the license area and by utilizing the most recent census data. Unjust enrichment payments for disaggregated spectrum shall be calculated based upon the ratio of the amount of spectrum disaggregated to the amount of spectrum held by the licensee.

[59 FR 44293, Aug. 26, 1994, as amended at 63 FR 2346, Jan. 15, 1998; 63 FR 68942, Dec. 14, 1998; 71 FR 26252, May 4, 2006; 71 FR 34278, June 14, 2006; 77 FR 16471, Mar. 21, 2012; 80 FR 56814, Sept. 18, 2015]

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§1.2112   Ownership disclosure requirements for applications.

(a) Each application to participate in competitive bidding (i.e., short-form application (see 47 CFR 1.2105)), or for a license, authorization, assignment, or transfer of control shall fully disclose the following:

(1) List the real party or parties in interest in the applicant or application, including a complete disclosure of the identity and relationship of those persons or entities directly or indirectly owning or controlling (or both) the applicant;

(2) List the name, address, and citizenship of any party holding 10 percent or more of stock in the applicant, whether voting or nonvoting, common or preferred, including the specific amount of the interest or percentage held;

(3) List, in the case of a limited partnership, the name, address and citizenship of each limited partner whose interest in the applicant is 10 percent or greater (as calculated according to the percentage of equity paid in or the percentage of distribution of profits and losses);

(4) List, in the case of a general partnership, the name, address and citizenship of each partner, and the share or interest participation in the partnership;

(5) List, in the case of a limited liability company, the name, address, and citizenship of each of its members whose interest in the applicant is 10 percent or greater;

(6) List all parties holding indirect ownership interests in the applicant as determined by successive multiplication of the ownership percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain, that equals 10 percent or more of the applicant, except that if the ownership percentage for an interest in any link in the chain exceeds 50 percent or represents actual control, it shall be treated and reported as if it were a 100 percent interest; and

(7) List any FCC-regulated entity or applicant for an FCC license, in which the applicant or any of the parties identified in paragraphs (a)(1) through (a)(5) of this section, owns 10 percent or more of stock, whether voting or nonvoting, common or preferred. This list must include a description of each such entity's principal business and a description of each such entity's relationship to the applicant (e.g., Company A owns 10 percent of Company B (the applicant) and 10 percent of Company C, then Companies A and C must be listed on Company B's application, where C is an FCC licensee and/or license applicant).

(b) Designated entity status. In addition to the information required under paragraph (a) of this section, each applicant claiming eligibility for small business provisions or a rural service provider bidding credit shall disclose the following:

(1) On its application to participate in competitive bidding (i.e., short-form application (see 47 CFR 1.2105)):

(i) List the names, addresses, and citizenship of all officers, directors, affiliates, and other controlling interests of the applicant, as described in §1.2110, and, if a consortium of small businesses or consortium of very small businesses, the members of the conglomerate organization;

(ii) List any FCC-regulated entity or applicant for an FCC license, in which any controlling interest of the applicant owns a 10 percent or greater interest or a total of 10 percent or more of any class of stock, warrants, options or debt securities. This list must include a description of each such entity's principal business and a description of each such entity's relationship to the applicant;

(iii) List all parties with which the applicant has entered into agreements or arrangements for the use of any of the spectrum capacity of any of the applicant's spectrum;

(iv) List separately and in the aggregate the gross revenues, computed in accordance with §1.2110, for each of the following: The applicant, its affiliates, its controlling interests, and the affiliates of its controlling interests; and if a consortium of small businesses, the members comprising the consortium;

(v) If claiming eligibility for a rural service provider bidding credit, provide all information to demonstrate that the applicant meets the criteria for such credit as set forth in §1.2110(f)(4); and

(vi) If applying as a consortium of designated entities, provide the information in paragraphs (b)(1)(i) through (v) of this section separately for each member of the consortium.

(2) As an exhibit to its application for a license, authorization, assignment, or transfer of control:

(i) List the names, addresses, and citizenship of all officers, directors, and other controlling interests of the applicant, as described in §1.2110;

(ii) List any FCC-regulated entity or applicant for an FCC license, in which any controlling interest of the applicant owns a 10 percent or greater interest or a total of 10 percent or more of any class of stock, warrants, options or debt securities. This list must include a description of each such entity's principal business and a description of each such entity's relationship to the applicant;

(iii) List and summarize all agreements or instruments (with appropriate references to specific provisions in the text of such agreements and instruments) that support the applicant's eligibility as a small business under the applicable designated entity provisions, including the establishment of de facto or de jure control. Such agreements and instruments include articles of incorporation and by-laws, partnership agreements, shareholder agreements, voting or other trust agreements, management agreements, franchise agreements, spectrum leasing arrangements, spectrum resale (including wholesale) arrangements, and any other relevant agreements (including letters of intent), oral or written;

(iv) List and summarize any investor protection agreements, including rights of first refusal, supermajority clauses, options, veto rights, and rights to hire and fire employees and to appoint members to boards of directors or management committees;

(v) List separately and in the aggregate the gross revenues, computed in accordance with §1.2110, for each of the following: the applicant, its affiliates, its controlling interests, and affiliates of its controlling interests; and if a consortium of small businesses, the members comprising the consortium;

(vi) List and summarize, if seeking the exemption for rural telephone cooperatives pursuant to §1.2110, all documentation to establish eligibility pursuant to the factors listed under §1.2110(b)(4)(iii)(A).

(vii) List and summarize any agreements in which the applicant has entered into arrangements for the use of any of the spectrum capacity of the license that is the subject of the application; and

(viii) If claiming eligibility for a rural service provider bidding credit, provide all information to demonstrate that the applicant meets the criteria for such credit as set forth in §1.2110(f)(4).

[68 FR 42997, July 21, 2003, as amended at 70 FR 57187, Sept. 30, 2005; 71 FR 26253, May 4, 2006; 77 FR 16471, Mar. 21, 2012; 80 FR 56815, Sept. 18, 2015]

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§1.2113   Construction prior to grant of application.

Subject to the provisions of this section, applicants for licenses awarded by competitive bidding may construct facilities to provide service prior to grant of their applications, but must not operate such facilities until the FCC grants an authorization. If the conditions stated in this section are not met, applicants must not begin to construct facilities for licenses subject to competitive bidding.

(a) When applicants may begin construction. An applicant may begin construction of a facility upon release of the Public Notice listing the post-auction long-form application for that facility as acceptable for filing.

(b) Notification to stop. If the FCC for any reason determines that construction should not be started or should be stopped while an application is pending, and so notifies the applicant, orally (followed by written confirmation) or in writing, the applicant must not begin construction or, if construction has begun, must stop construction immediately.

(c) Assumption of risk. Applicants that begin construction pursuant to this section before receiving an authorization do so at their own risk and have no recourse against the United States for any losses resulting from:

(1) Applications that are not granted;

(2) Errors or delays in issuing public notices;

(3) Having to alter, relocate or dismantle the facility; or

(4) Incurring whatever costs may be necessary to bring the facility into compliance with applicable laws, or FCC rules and orders.

(d) Conditions. Except as indicated, all pre-grant construction is subject to the following conditions:

(1) The application does not include a request for a waiver of one or more FCC rules;

(2) For any construction or alteration that would exceed the requirements of §17.7 of this chapter, the licensee has notified the appropriate Regional Office of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA Form 7460-1), filed a request for antenna height clearance and obstruction marking and lighting specifications (FCC Form 854) with the FCC, PRB, Support Services Branch, Gettysburg, PA 17325;

(3) The applicant has indicated in the application that the proposed facility would not have a significant environmental effect, in accordance with §§1.1301 through 1.1319;

(4) Under applicable international agreements and rules in this part, individual coordination of the proposed channel assignment(s) with a foreign administration is not required; and

(5) Any service-specific restrictions not listed herein.

[63 FR 2348, Jan. 15, 1998]

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§1.2114   Reporting of eligibility event.

(a) A designated entity must seek Commission approval for all reportable eligibility events. A reportable eligibility event is:

(1) Any spectrum lease (as defined in §1.9003) or any other type of spectrum use agreement with one entity or on a cumulative basis that might cause a licensee to lose eligibility for installment payments, a set-aside license, or a bidding credit (or for a particular level of bidding credit) under §1.2110 and applicable service-specific rules.

(2) Any other event that would lead to a change in the eligibility of a licensee for designated entity benefits.

(b) Documents listed on and filed with application. A designated entity filing an application pursuant to this section must—

(1) List and summarize on the application all agreements and arrangements (including proposed agreements and arrangements) that give rise to or otherwise relate to a reportable eligibility event. In addition to a summary of each agreement or arrangement, this list must include the parties (including each party's affiliates, its controlling interests, the affiliates of its controlling interests, its spectrum lessees, and its spectrum resellers and wholesalers) to each agreement or arrangement, as well as the dates on which the parties entered into each agreement or arrangement.

(2) File with the application a copy of each agreement and arrangement listed pursuant to this paragraph.

(3) Maintain at its facilities or with its designated agents, for the term of the license, the lists, summaries, dates, and copies of agreements and arrangements required to be provided to the Commission pursuant to this section.

(c) Application fees. The application reporting the eligibility event will be treated as a transfer of control for purposes of determining the applicable application fees as set forth in §1.1102.

(d) Streamlined approval procedures. (1) The eligibility event application will be placed on public notice once the application is sufficiently complete and accepted for filing (see §1.933).

(2) Petitions to deny filed in accordance with section 309(d) of the Communications Act must comply with the provisions of §1.939, except that such petitions must be filed no later than 14 days following the date of the Public Notice listing the application as accepted for filing.

(3) No later than 21 days following the date of the Public Notice listing an application as accepted for filing, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) will grant the application, deny the application, or remove the application from streamlined processing for further review.

(4) Grant of the application will be reflected in a Public Notice (see §1.933(a)(2)) promptly issued after the grant.

(5) If the Bureau determines to remove an application from streamlined processing, it will issue a Public Notice indicating that the application has been removed from streamlined processing. Within 90 days of that Public Notice, the Bureau will either take action upon the application or provide public notice that an additional 90-day period for review is needed.

(e) Public notice of application. Applications under this section will be placed on an informational public notice on a weekly basis (see §1.933(a)).

(f) Contents of the application. The application must contain all information requested on the applicable form, any additional information and certifications required by the rules in this chapter, and any rules pertaining to the specific service for which the application is filed.

(g) The designated entity is required to update any change in a relationship that gave rise to a reportable eligibility event.

[71 FR 26253, May 4, 2006, as amended at 71 FR 34278, June 14, 2006; 79 FR 48530, Aug. 15, 2014; 80 FR 56816, Sept. 18, 2015]

Effective Date Note: At 80 FR 56816, Sept. 18, 2015, §1.2114 (a)(1) was revised. This paragraph contains information collection and recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.

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§1.2115   Public notice of incentive auction related procedures.

The provisions of this subpart may be used to conduct an incentive auction pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 309(j)(8)(G), including either or both a reverse auction to determine the incentive payment a licensee would be willing to accept in exchange for relinquishing spectrum usage rights and a forward auction to assign flexible use licenses for any spectrum made available as the result of such relinquishments. The Commission shall provide public notice of any procedures necessary for the implementation of an incentive auction that are not otherwise provided for pursuant to the rules of this Subpart. The Commission may do so in one or more such public notices. The Commission's procedures may include, without limitation:

(a) Spectrum usage rights relinquishment procedures. The procedures pursuant to which a licensee may make an unconditional, irrevocable offer to relinquish spectrum usage rights in exchange for an incentive payment, including any terms the offer must include and procedures pursuant to which the Commission may accept such an offer.

(b) Information required from a licensee. (1) The procedures for a licensee to provide any identifying information and or certifications that the Commission may require from any licensee that seeks to relinquish spectrum usage rights in the incentive auction.

(2) The procedures for a licensee that is relinquishing spectrum usage rights to provide any financial information that the Commission may require to facilitate the disbursement of any incentive payment.

[84 FR 1630, Feb. 5, 2019]

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Broadcast Television Spectrum Reverse Auction

Source: 79 FR 48530, Aug. 15, 2014, unless otherwise noted.

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§1.2200   Definitions.

For purposes of §§1.2200 through 1.2209:

(a) Broadcast television licensee. The term broadcast television licensee means the licensee of

(1) A full-power television station, or

(2) A low-power television station that has been accorded primary status as a Class A television licensee under §73.6001(a) of this chapter.

(b) Channel sharee. The term channel sharee means a broadcast television licensee that relinquishes all spectrum usage rights with respect to a particular television channel in order to share a television channel with another broadcast television licensee.

(c) Channel sharer. The term channel sharer means a broadcast television licensee that shares its television channel with a channel sharee.

(d) Channel sharing bid. The term channel sharing bid means a bid to relinquish all spectrum usage rights with respect to a particular television channel in order to share a television channel with another broadcast television licensee by an applicant that submits an executed channel sharing agreement with its application.

(e) Forward auction. The term forward auction means the portion of an incentive auction of broadcast television spectrum described in section 6403(c) of the Spectrum Act.

(f) High-VHF-to-low-VHF bid. The term high-VHF-to-low-VHF bid means a bid to relinquish all spectrum usage rights with respect to a high very high frequency (“VHF”) television channel (channels 7 through 13) in return for receiving spectrum usage rights with respect to a low VHF television channel (channels 2 through 6).

(g) License relinquishment bid. The term license relinquishment bid means a bid to relinquish all spectrum usage rights with respect to a particular television channel without receiving in return any spectrum usage rights with respect to another television channel.

(h) NCE station. The term NCE station means a noncommercial educational television broadcast station as defined in §73.621 of this chapter.

(i) Reverse auction. The term reverse auction means the portion of an incentive auction of broadcast television spectrum described in section 6403(a) of the Spectrum Act.

(j) Reverse auction bid. The term reverse auction bid includes a license relinquishment bid, a UHF-to-VHF bid, a high-VHF-to-low-VHF bid, a channel sharing bid, and any other reverse auction bids permitted.

(k) Spectrum Act. The term Spectrum Act means Title VI of the Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Pub. L. 112-96).

(l) UHF-to-VHF bid. The term UHF-to-VHF bid means a bid to relinquish all spectrum usage rights with respect to an ultra-high frequency (“UHF”) television channel in return for receiving spectrum usage rights with respect to a high VHF television channel or a low VHF television channel.

[79 FR 48530, Aug. 15, 2014, as amended at 80 FR 67342, Nov. 2, 2015]

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§1.2201   Purpose.

The provisions of §§1.2200 through 1.2209 implement section 6403 of the Spectrum Act, which requires the Commission to conduct a reverse auction to determine the amount of compensation that each broadcast television licensee would accept in return for voluntarily relinquishing some or all of its broadcast television spectrum usage rights in order to make spectrum available for assignment through a system of competitive bidding under subparagraph (G) of section 309(j)(8) of the Communications Act of 1934, as added by section 6402 of the Spectrum Act.

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§1.2202   Competitive bidding design options.

(a) Public notice of competitive bidding design options. Prior to conducting competitive bidding in the reverse auction, public notice shall be provided of the detailed procedures that may be used to implement auction design options.

(b) Competitive bidding design options. The public notice detailing competitive bidding procedures for the reverse auction may establish procedures for collecting bids, assigning winning bids, and determining payments, including without limitation:

(1) Procedures for collecting bids. (i) Procedures for collecting bids in a single round or in multiple rounds.

(ii) Procedures for collecting bids for multiple reverse auction bid options.

(iii) Procedures allowing for bids that specify a price for a reverse auction bid option, indicate demand at a specified price, or provide other information as specified by competitive bidding policies, rules, and procedures.

(iv) Procedures allowing for bids that are contingent on specified conditions, such as other bids being accepted.

(v) Procedures to collect bids in one or more stages, including procedures for transitions between stages.

(vi) Procedures for whether, when, and how bids may be modified during the auction.

(2) Procedures for assigning winning bids. (i) Procedures that take into account one or more factors in addition to bid amount, such as population coverage or geographic contour, or other relevant measurable factors.

(ii) Procedures to evaluate the technical feasibility of assigning a winning bid.

(A) Procedures that utilize mathematical computer optimization software, such as integer programming, to evaluate bids and technical feasibility, or that utilize other decision routines, such as sequentially evaluating bids using a ranking based on specified factors.

(B) Procedures that combine computer optimization algorithms with other decision routines.

(iii) Procedures to incorporate public interest considerations into the process for assigning winning bids.

(3) Procedures for determining payments. (i) Procedures to determine the amount of any incentive payments made to winning bidders consistent with other auction design choices.

(ii) The amount of proceeds shared with a broadcast television licensee will not be less than the amount of the licensee's winning bid in the reverse auction.

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§1.2203   Competitive bidding mechanisms.

(a) Public notice of competitive bidding procedures. Detailed competitive bidding procedures shall be established by public notice prior to the commencement of the reverse auction, including without limitation:

(1) Sequencing. The sequencing with which the reverse auction and the related forward auction assigning new spectrum licenses will occur.

(2) Reserve price. Reserve prices, either disclosed or undisclosed, so that higher bids for various reverse auction bid options would not win in the reverse auction. Reserve prices may apply individually, in combination, or in the aggregate.

(3) Opening bids and bid increments. Maximum or minimum opening bids, and by announcement before or during the reverse auction, maximum or minimum bid increments in dollar or percentage terms.

(4) Activity rules. Activity rules that require a minimum amount of bidding activity.

(b) Binding obligation. A bid is an unconditional, irrevocable offer by the bidder to fulfill the terms of the bid. The Commission accepts the offer by identifying the bid as winning. A bidder has a binding obligation to fulfill the terms of a winning bid. A winning bidder will relinquish spectrum usage rights pursuant to the terms of any winning bid by the deadline set forth in §73.3700(b)(4) of this chapter.

(c) Stopping procedures. Before or during the reverse auction, procedures may be established regarding when bidding will stop for a round, a stage, or an entire auction, in order to terminate the auction within a reasonable time and in accordance with public interest considerations and the goals, statutory requirements, rules, and procedures for the auction, including any reserve price or prices.

(d) Auction delay, suspension, or cancellation. By public notice or by announcement during the reverse auction, the auction may be delayed, suspended, or cancelled in the event of a natural disaster, technical obstacle, network disruption, evidence of an auction security breach or unlawful bidding activity, administrative or weather necessity, or for any other reason that affects the fair and efficient conduct of the competitive bidding. The Commission has the authority, at its sole discretion, to resume the competitive bidding starting from the beginning of the current or some previous round or cancel the competitive bidding in its entirety.

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§1.2204   Applications to participate in competitive bidding.

(a) Public notice of the application process. All applications to participate must be filed electronically. The dates and procedures for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction shall be announced by public notice.

(b) Applicant. The applicant identified on the application to participate must be the broadcast television licensee that would relinquish spectrum usage rights if it becomes a winning bidder. In the case of a channel sharing bid, the applicant will be the proposed channel sharee.

(c) Information and certifications provided in the application to participate. An applicant may be required to provide the following information in its application to participate in the reverse auction:

(1) The following identifying information:

(i) If the applicant is an individual, the applicant's name and address. If the applicant is a corporation, the name and address of the corporate office and the name and title of an officer or director. If the applicant is a partnership, the name, citizenship, and address of all general partners, and, if a general partner is not a natural person, then the name and title of a responsible person for that partner, as well. If the applicant is a trust, the name and address of the trustee. If the applicant is none of the above, it must identify and describe itself and its principals or other responsible persons;

(ii) Applicant ownership and other information as set forth in §1.2112(a); and

(iii) List, in the case of a non-profit entity, the name, address, and citizenship of each member of the governing board and of any educational institution or governmental entity with a controlling interest in the applicant, if applicable.

(2) The identity of the person(s) authorized to take binding action in the bidding on behalf of the applicant.

(3) For each broadcast television license for which the applicant intends to submit reverse auction bids:

(i) The identity of the station and its television channel;

(ii) Whether it is a full-power or Class A television station;

(iii) If the license is for a Class A television station, certification under penalty of perjury that it is and will remain in compliance with the ongoing statutory eligibility requirements to remain a Class A station;

(iv) Whether it is an NCE station and, if so, whether it operates on a reserved or non-reserved channel;

(v) The types of reverse auction bids that the applicant may submit;

(vi) Whether the license for the station is subject to a non-final revocation order, has expired and is subject to a non-final cancellation order, or if for a Class A station is subject to a non-final downgrade order and, if the license is subject to such a proceeding or order, then an acknowledgement that the Commission will place all of its auction proceeds into escrow pending the final outcome of the proceeding or order; and

(vii) Any additional information required to assess the spectrum usage rights offered.

(4) For each broadcast television license for which the applicant intends to submit a license relinquishment bid:

(i) Whether it intends to enter into a channel sharing agreement if it becomes a winning bidder;

(ii) Whether it will control another broadcast station if it becomes a winning bidder and terminates operations; and

(iii) If it will control another broadcast station, an acknowledgement that it will remain subject to any pending license renewal, as well as any enforcement action, against the station offered; or

(iv) If it will not control another broadcast station, an acknowledgement that the Commission will place a share of its auction proceeds into escrow to cover any potential forfeiture costs associated with any pending license renewal or any pending enforcement action against the station offered.

(5) For each broadcast television license for which the applicant intends to submit a channel sharing bid:

(i) The identity of the channel sharer and the television channel the applicant has agreed to share;

(ii) Any required information regarding the channel sharing agreement, including a copy of the executed channel sharing agreement;

(iii) Certification under penalty of perjury that the channel sharing agreement is consistent with all Commission rules and policies, and that the applicant accepts any risk that the implementation of the channel sharing agreement may not be feasible for any reason, including any conflict with requirements for operation on the shared channel;

(iv) Certification under penalty of perjury that its operation from the shared channel facilities will not result in a change to its Designated Market Area;

(v) Certification under penalty of perjury that it can meet the community of license coverage requirement set forth in §73.625(a) of this chapter from the shared channel facilities or, if not, that the new community of license for its shared channel facilities either meets the same or a higher allotment priority as its current community; or, if no community meets the same or higher allotment priority, provides the next highest priority;

(vi) Certification under penalty of perjury that the proposed channel sharing arrangement will not violate the multiple ownership rules, set forth in §73.3555 of this chapter, based on facts at the time the application is submitted; and

(vii) Certification by the channel sharer under penalty of perjury with respect to the certifications described in paragraphs (c)(3)(iii), (c)(5)(iii), and (c)(5)(vi) of this section.

(6) Certification under penalty of perjury that the applicant and all of the person(s) disclosed under paragraph (c)(1) of this section are not person(s) who have been, for reasons of national security, barred by any agency of the Federal Government from bidding on a contract, participating in an auction, or receiving a grant. For the purposes of this certification, the term “person” means an individual, partnership, association, joint-stock company, trust, or corporation, and the term “reasons of national security” means matters relating to the national defense and foreign relations of the United States.

(7) Certification that the applicant agrees that it has sole responsibility for investigating and evaluating all technical and marketplace factors that may have a bearing on the bids it submits in the reverse auction.

(8) Certification that the applicant agrees that the bids it submits in the reverse auction are irrevocable, binding offers by the applicant.

(9) Certification that the individual submitting the application to participate and providing the certifications is authorized to do so on behalf of the applicant, and if such individual is not an officer, director, board member, or controlling interest holder of the applicant, evidence that such individual has the authority to bind the applicant.

(10) Certification that the applicant is in compliance with all statutory and regulatory requirements for participation in the reverse auction, including any requirements with respect to the license(s) identified in the application to participate.

(11) Such additional information as may be required.

(d) Application processing. (1) Any timely submitted application to participate will be reviewed for completeness and compliance with the Commission's rules. No untimely applications to participate shall be reviewed or considered.

(2) Any application to participate that does not contain all of the certifications required pursuant to this section is unacceptable for filing, cannot be corrected subsequent to the application filing deadline, and will be dismissed with prejudice.

(3) Applicants will be provided a limited opportunity to cure specified defects and to resubmit a corrected application to participate. During the resubmission period for curing defects, an application to participate may be amended or modified to cure identified defects or to make minor amendments or modifications. After the resubmission period has ended, an application to participate may be amended or modified to make minor changes or correct minor errors in the application to participate. Minor amendments may be subject to a deadline specified by public notice. Major amendments cannot be made to an application to participate after the initial filing deadline. Major amendments include, but are not limited to, changes in ownership of the applicant that would constitute an assignment or transfer of control, changes to any of the required certifications, and the addition or removal of licenses identified on the application to participate for which the applicant intends to submit reverse auction bids. Minor amendments include any changes that are not major, such as correcting typographical errors and supplying or correcting information as requested to support the certifications made in the application.

(4) Applicants that fail to correct defects in their applications to participate in a timely manner as specified by public notice will have their applications to participate dismissed with no opportunity for resubmission.

(5) Applicants shall have a continuing obligation to make any amendments or modifications that are necessary to maintain the accuracy and completeness of information furnished in pending applications to participate. Such amendments or modifications shall be made as promptly as possible, and in no case more than five business days after applicants become aware of the need to make any amendment or modification, or five business days after the reportable event occurs, whichever is later. An applicant's obligation to make such amendments or modifications to a pending application to participate continues until they are made.

(e) Notice to qualified and non-qualified applicants. Each applicant will be notified as to whether it is qualified or not qualified to participate in the reverse auction.

[79 FR 48530, Aug. 15, 2014, as amended at 80 FR 67342, Nov. 2, 2015]

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§1.2205   Prohibition of certain communications.

(a) Definitions. (1) For the purposes of this section, a full power broadcast television licensee, or a Class A broadcast television licensee, shall include all controlling interests in the licensee, and all officers, directors, and governing board members of the licensee.

(2) For the purposes of this section, the term forward auction applicant is defined the same as the term applicant is defined in §1.2105(c)(5).

(b) Certain communications prohibited. (1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, in the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction conducted under section 6403 of the Spectrum Act, beginning on the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction and until the results of the incentive auction are announced by public notice, all full power and Class A broadcast television licensees are prohibited from communicating directly or indirectly any incentive auction applicant's bids or bidding strategies to any other full power or Class A broadcast television licensee or to any forward auction applicant.

(2) The prohibition described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section does not apply to the following:

(i) Communications between full power or Class A broadcast television licensees if they share a common controlling interest, director, officer, or governing board member as of the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction;

(ii) Communications between a forward auction applicant and a full power or Class A broadcast television licensee if a controlling interest, director, officer, or holder of any 10 percent or greater ownership interest in the forward auction applicant, as of the deadline for submitting short-form applications to participate in the forward auction, is also a controlling interest, director, officer, or governing board member of the full power or Class A broadcast television licensee, as of the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction; and

(iii) Communications regarding reverse auction applicants' (but not forward auction applicants') bids and bidding strategies between parties to a channel sharing agreement executed prior to the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction and disclosed on a reverse auction application.

(c) Duty to report potentially prohibited communications. A party that makes or receives a communication prohibited under paragraph (b) of this section shall report such communication in writing immediately, and in any case no later than five business days after the communication occurs. A party's obligation to make such a report continues until the report has been made.

(d) Procedures for reporting potentially prohibited communications. Reports under paragraph (c) of this section shall be filed as directed in public notices detailing procedures for bidding in the incentive auction. If no public notice provides direction, the party making the report shall do so in writing to the Chief of the Auctions and Spectrum Access Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, by the most expeditious means available, including electronic transmission such as email.

(e) Violations. A party who is found to have violated the antitrust laws or the Commission's rules in connection with its participation in the competitive bidding process, in addition to any other applicable sanctions, may be subject to forfeiture of its winning bid incentive payment and revocation of its licenses, where applicable, and may be prohibited from participating in future auctions.

Note 1 to §1.2205: References to “full power broadcast television licensees” and “Class A broadcast television licensees” are intended to include all broadcast television licensees that are or could become eligible to participate in the reverse auction, including broadcast television licensees that may be parties to a channel sharing agreement.

Note 2 to §1.2205: For the purposes of this section, “controlling interests” include individuals or entities with positive or negative de jure or de facto control of the licensee. De jure control includes holding 50 percent or more of the voting stock of a corporation or holding a general partnership interest in a partnership. Ownership interests that are held indirectly by any party through one or more intervening corporations may be determined by successive multiplication of the ownership percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain and application of the relevant attribution benchmark to the resulting product, except that if the ownership percentage for an interest in any link in the chain meets or exceeds 50 percent or represents actual control, it may be treated as if it were a 100 percent interest. De facto control is determined on a case-by-case basis. Examples of de facto control include constituting or appointing 50 percent or more of the board of directors or management committee; having authority to appoint, promote, demote, and fire senior executives that control the day-to-day activities of the licensee; or playing an integral role in management decisions.

Note 3 to §1.2205: The prohibition described in §1.2205(b)(1) applies to controlling interests, officers, directors, and governing board members of a full power or Class A broadcast television licensee as of the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction, and any additional such parties at any subsequent point prior to the announcement by public notice of the results of the incentive auction. Thus, if, for example, a full power or Class A broadcast television licensee appoints a new officer after the application deadline, that new officer would be subject to the prohibition in §1.2205(b)(1), but would not be included within the exceptions described in §§1.2205(b)(2)(i) and (ii).

[79 FR 48530, Aug. 15, 2014, as amended at 80 FR 56816, Sept. 18, 2015]

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§1.2206   Confidentiality of Commission-held data.

(a) The Commission will take all reasonable steps necessary to protect all Confidential Broadcaster Information for all reverse auction applicants from the time the broadcast television licensee applies to participate in the reverse auction until the reassignments and reallocations under section 6403(b)(1)(B) of the Spectrum Act become effective or until two years after public notice that the reverse auction is complete and that no such reassignments and reallocations shall become effective.

(b) In addition, if reassignments and reallocations under section 6403(b)(1)(B) of the Spectrum Act become effective, the Commission will continue to take all reasonable steps necessary to protect Confidential Broadcaster Information pertaining to any unsuccessful reverse auction bid and pertaining to any unsuccessful application to participate in the reverse auction until two years after the effective date.

(c) Notwithstanding paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section, the Commission may disclose Confidential Broadcaster Information if required to do so by law, such as by court order.

(d) Confidential Broadcaster Information includes the following Commission-held data of a broadcast television licensee participating in the reverse auction:

(1) The name of the applicant licensee;

(2) The licensee's channel number, call sign, facility identification number, and network affiliation; and

(3) Any other information that may reasonably be withheld to protect the identity of the licensee, as determined by the Commission.

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§1.2207   Two competing participants required.

The Commission may not enter into an agreement for a licensee to relinquish spectrum usage rights in exchange for a share of the proceeds from the related forward auction assigning new spectrum licenses unless at least two competing licensees participate in the reverse auction.

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§1.2208   Public notice of auction completion and auction results.

Public notice shall be provided when the reverse auction is complete and when the forward auction is complete. With respect to the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction conducted under section 6403 of the Spectrum Act, public notice shall be provided of the results of the reverse auction, forward auction, and repacking, and shall indicate that the reassignments of television channels and reallocations of broadcast television spectrum are effective.

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§1.2209   Disbursement of incentive payments.

A winning bidder shall submit the necessary financial information to facilitate the disbursement of the winning bidder's incentive payment. Specific procedures for submitting financial information, including applicable deadlines, will be set out by public notice.

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