It is not just broadcasters who are liable for unauthorized transfer of control. Delta Air Lines bought Northwest Airlines on 10/29/08, and along with the acquired air carrier came 210 private land mobile radio licenses. Unfortunately, Delta didn’t get around to applying for the license transfers until well after closing day.
Applications didn’t come in to the FCC, in fact, until 4/3/09 and 6/16/09. Delta said there was a misunderstanding, in that the Northwest licenses were held by a separate entity and that no pre-deal FCC approval was necessary. Delta said that only after it closed on Northwest did it learn of its responsibility regarding the licenses.
As is typical of a consent decree, Delta admitted no wrong-doing, and promised never to do it again. The FCC did not charge Delta with any wrong-doing and assigned it a compliance routine.
And, of course, Delta made a voluntary contribution to the US Treasury. In this case, it was in the amount of $35K.
RBR-TVBR observation: One of our spouses would like to hit Delta with a fine and reporting conditions tracing back to the time the airline stranded her in Detroit, but that is a different story.