Some Surprises in Who Made Auction Cut

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GavelNow that the FCC has released the list of qualified bidders in the next phase of the incentive auction, at least some elements of what’s to come are becoming more clear. Of the 99 applicants who submitted applications the agency deemed “complete,” only 62 are qualified.


At least one analyst surmises the ones that failed the first hurdle did not submit a deposit.

The actual auction of the spectrum surrendered by television stations begins August 16.

Wells Fargo wasn’t surprised by wireless players who qualified, like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, USM, Dish and Comcast.

“Other notable qualified bidders include: foreign operators America Movil, NTT DoCoMo; and numerous regional carriers. Also of note was that only one of the ‘billionaires’’ qualified (Raj Singh, in partnership with Columbia,)” wrote Marci Ryvicker in a research note.

What about the bidders the FCC deemed “unqualified?”

“The non-qualified bidders were mostly individuals – so it isn’t really surprising they ‘dropped out’. What did surprise was that SBGI (known as STG Wireless Licensee, LLC in the auction) was not on the Qualified Bidders list. From our conversations with investors, this seems to be viewed as a positive (some seemed to be worried the company may spend significantly on the forward side of the auction,)” according to Wells Fargo.

With the number of qualified bidders falling from 99 to 62, the company feels “there is a very low probability” that stage one clears at $88.4 billion and wonders how many stages there will be.

Here’s the list of qualified bidders: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0715/DA-16-796A2.pdf Here’s the list of disqualified bidders: http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Releases/Daily_Business/2016/db0715/DA-16-796A3.pdf


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