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Amendment of Section 25.119(f) of the Commission’s Rules

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Released: August 1, 2014
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Federal Communications Commission

FCC 14-109

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of

)

)

Amendment of Section 25.119(f) of the

)

Commission’s Rules to Modify the Consummation

)

Deadline for Satellite Space and Earth Station

)

License Assignments and Transfers of Control

)

ORDER

Adopted: July 31, 2014

Released:

August 1, 2014

By the Commission:

1.

By this Order, we amend section 25.119(f) of the Commission's rules to extend the time

by which parties must consummate an approved satellite space station or earth station license assignment

or transfer of control from 60 to 180 days. This amendment is part of the Commission’s process reform

initiative1 and will provide parties greater flexibility to set closing dates, decrease the need to file

extension of time requests, and harmonize this consummation deadline with that in other wireless

services.2 Because this amendment involves a rule of agency procedure, general notice and an

opportunity to comment are not required.3

2.

Section 25.119(f) of the Commission's rules requires space station and earth station

licensees to consummate an assignment or transfer of control within 60 days from the date of

authorization.4 This period is shorter than the 180-day consummation period for wireless licenses, which

are often involved in the same transaction with satellite licenses. Moreover, many space station and earth

station licensees seek Commission approval well in advance of closing a transaction, and may need more

than 60 days to consummate after Commission authorization.

This can result in the filing of requests to

extend the consummation deadline, and these requests have been granted.5

3.

To address this issue, a staff working group recommended, under Recommendation 5.30

of its Process Reform Report, extending the 60-day consummation period to 180 days.6 We find that it is

1 See Report on FCC Process Reform, GN Docket No. 14-25 (Staff Working Group, Feb. 14, 2014) (Process Reform

Report).

2 See 47 C.F.R. § 1.948(d) (180-day consummation deadline for wireless license transfers and assignments requiring

prior Commission approval).

3 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(A). See also 47 C.F.R. § 1.412(b)(5) (prior notice not required for amendments to rules relating

to Commission organization, procedure, or practice).

Nonetheless, the Commission issued a public notice seeking

comment on this action and received comments. See infra note 6.

4 47 C.F.R. § 25.119(f).

5 See, e.g., Sirius XM Radio Inc., File No. SAT-T/C-20130522-00074 (extension granted July 23, 2013); Shared

Data Networks, LLC, File No. SES-T/C-20130612-00491 (extension granted Sept. 30, 2013); Cox Radio, Inc., File

No. SES-T/C-20121221-01137 (extension granted Mar. 12, 2013).

6 Process Reform Report at 73, Recommendation 5.30. A public notice was issued seeking comment on the Process

Reform Report. FCC Seeks Public Comment on Report on Process Reform, Public Notice, GN Docket No. 14-25,

DA 14-199 (Feb. 14, 2014).

In response, SES Americom, Inc. and EchoStar Satellite Operating Company, writing

(continued….)

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Federal Communications Commission

FCC 14-109

in the public interest to adopt this recommendation. The amendment will remove unnecessary

administrative burdens by eliminating the filing of such extension of time requests. A 180-day deadline

may also facilitate transactions involving a company holding licenses in multiple services.

4.

We hereby modify section 25.119(f) of our rules consistent with Recommendation 5.30.

Accordingly, parties to an approved license transfer or assignment will be required to consummate the

transaction within 180 days from the date of authorization, instead of within 60 days.

There are no other

changes to the current rule. The amended first sentence of section 25.119(f) of our rules will read as

follows:

(f) Assignments and transfers of control shall be completed within 180 days from the date of

authorization. * * *

5.

Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to sections 4(i) and 4(j) of the

Communications Act, as amended, 47 U.S.C. §§ 154(i), (j), and section 553(b)(A) of the Administrative

Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. § 553(b)(A), section 25.119(f) of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. §

25.119(f), is amended as described above.

6.

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this Order is effective upon publication in the Federal

Register, pursuant to section 553(d)(1) of the APA, 5 U.S.C. § 553(d)(1).7

As a result, the new rule will

apply to all transfers and assignments that are pending or have been approved, but not consummated, at

the time of, and after, Federal Register publication.

FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

Marlene H. Dortch

Secretary

(Continued from previous page)

also for its subsidiary Hughes Network Systems, LLC, filed comments. All three companies supported the

recommendation. See Comments of SES Americom, Inc., GN Docket No. 14-25, at 3 (filed Mar. 31, 2014);

Comments of EchoStar Satellite Operating Company and Hughes Network Systems, LLC, GN Docket No. 14-25, at

14-15 (filed Apr. 1, 2014). There were no objections.

7 Under section 553(d)(1), rules that grant or recognize an exemption or relieve a restriction may take effect less

than 30 days after publication of the rule in the Federal Register.

2

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