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Dismissal of MC/LM Petition Opposing Havens-PSI Assignments

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Released: August 22, 2013

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1787

Before the

Federal Communications Commission

Washington, D.C. 20554

In the Matter of

File No. 0005733853
File No. 0005735474

File No. 0005735519
Applications for Assignment of Licenses


Adopted: August 21, 2013

Released: August 22, 2013
By the Deputy Chief, Mobility Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau:
1. Introduction. In this Order and Order on Reconsideration, we address a petition by Maritime
Communications/Land Mobile, LLC Debtor-in-Possession (MC/LM) (1) to dismiss or deny the above-
captioned application of Paging System, Inc. (PSI) to assign Automated Maritime Telecommunication
System (AMTS) spectrum to Verde Systems LLC (VSL) and (2) for reconsideration of the consent to the
above-captioned applications of VSL and Skybridge Spectrum Foundation (Skybridge) to assign AMTS
spectrum to PSI.1 For the reasons stated below, we dismiss the petition.
2. Background. PSI holds AMTS Block B2 geographic3 licenses in AMTS Areas (AMTSAs) 5
(Great Lakes) and 8 (Hawaii),4 and AMTS Block B site-based licenses in AMTSAs 6 (Southern Pacific),
7 (Northern Pacific), and 8. VSL, Skybridge, and affiliated entities (collectively, the Havens entities)5

1 Petition to Dismiss or Deny and Petition for Reconsideration (filed May 8, 2013) (Petition). PSI filed an
opposition, as did VSL and Skybridge. See Paging Systems, Inc., Opposition to Petition to Dismiss or Deny and
Petition for Reconsideration (filed May 22, 2013) (PSI Opposition); Verde Systems LLC and Skybridge Spectrum
Foundation LLC, Opposition to Petition to Dismiss or Deny and Petition for Reconsideration (filed May 22, 2013)
(VSL/Skybridge Opposition). MC/LM filed a reply. See Reply (filed June 3, 2013) (Reply).
2 The Commission has designated two spectrum blocks for AMTS operations: Blocks A (217.5-218/219.5-220
MHz) and B (217-217.5/219-219.5 MHz). See 47 C.F.R. 80.385(a)(2).
3 In 2002, the Commission adopted a geographic licensing approach for AMTS spectrum and later assigned the
geographic licenses by competitive bidding procedures, but provided that site-based incumbent licensees could
continue to operate. See Amendment of the Commission's Rules Concerning Maritime Communications, Second
Memorandum Opinion and Order and Fifth Report and Order
, PR Docket No. 92-257, 17 FCC Rcd 6685 (2002).
4 Stations WQCP808 and WQGF308.
5 See, e.g., Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, EB Docket No. 11-71, Memorandum Opinion and Order,
FCC 13-107, n.1 (rel. Aug. 5, 2013).

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DA 13-1787

hold AMTS Block B geographic licenses in all of the AMTSAs not held by PSI, including AMTSA 6.6
PSI and the Havens entities have had numerous disputes before the Commission and in other forums. As
part of a comprehensive settlement of these matters, PSI filed an application to assign its AMTS
geographic licenses to VSL,7 and VSL and Skybridge filed applications to partition their licenses for
AMTS Stations WQCP8168 and WQJW6569 to assign AMTS Block B spectrum in southern California to
PSI. The assignments to PSI were consented to pursuant to the Commission's Immediate Approval
Procedures,10 while the assignment to VSL remains pending.
3. MC/LM holds AMTS Block A geographic licenses in AMTSAs 2, 4, 5, and 6.11 It filed a
petition seeking dismissal or denial of PSI's application and reconsideration of the consent to the
applications of VSL and Skybridge, arguing that PSI and the Havens entities have argued before the
Commission that the other lacks the character and fitness to be a Commission licensee, which disqualifies
them to hold the licensees they now seek to acquire.12 MC/LM argues that the proposed assignment
transactions should not be permitted to proceed until the Commission resolves the allegations raised in the
parties' pleadings in other proceedings.13
4. Discussion. We conclude that MC/LM lacks standing to challenge the above-captioned
applications, and accordingly dismiss its petition. Section 1.939(d) of the Commission's Rules requires
that a petition to deny contain specific allegations of fact sufficient to make a prima facie showing that the
petitioner is a party in interest.14 To establish standing as a party in interest, a petitioner must allege facts
sufficient to demonstrate that grant of the subject application would cause it to suffer a direct injury.15 In
addition, a petitioner must demonstrate a causal link between the claimed injury and the challenged

6 Specifically, they hold AMTS Block B geographic licenses in AMTSAs 1 (Northern Atlantic), 2 (Mid-Atlantic), 3
(Southern Atlantic), 4 (Mississippi River), 6, 7, 9 (Alaska), and 10 (Mountain). They also hold AMTS Block A
geographic licenses in AMTSAs 1, 3, 7, and 8.
7 See FCC File No. 0005733853.
8 See FCC File No. 0005735474.
9 See FCC File No. 0005735519.
10 See 47 C.F.R. 1.948(j)(2).
11 It also holds AMTS Block A site-based licenses in AMTSAs 1-7, and AMTS Block B site-based licenses in
AMTSAs 2, 3, 4, and 5. All of MC/LM's licenses are subject to a pending Commission proceeding to determine,
inter alia, whether MC/LM engaged in misrepresentation and/or lack of candor when it obtained its geographic
licenses, failed to construct and/or maintain in operation its site-based stations, and is qualified to be and remain a
Commission licensee. See Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC, Order to Show Cause, Hearing
Designation Order, and Notice of Opportunity for Hearing
, EB Docket No. 11-71, 26 FCC Rcd 6520, 6547 62
(2011). The allegations underlying the hearing proceeding were initially brought to the Commission's attention by
the Havens entities. See id. at 6525-26 13-18.
12 See Petition at 2-7.
13 See id. at 3. MC/LM also states that the applications are procedurally in violation of the "greenmail" rule, 47
C.F.R. 1.935. See id. at 2. We agree with PSI, VSL, and Skybridge, however, that this rule is not relevant to the
instant matter, for it applies only to requests to dismiss applications, amendments, or pleadings. See PSI Opposition
at 4; VSL/Skybridge Opposition at 5.
14 47 C.F.R. 1.939(d).
15 See, e.g., Petition for Reconsideration of Various Auction 87 Public Notices, et al., 27 FCC Rcd 4374, 4382 21
(WTB MD & ASAD 2012) (Auction 87 Order); AT&T PCS Wireless PCS, Inc., Order, 15 FCC Rcd 4587, 4588 3
(WTB CWD 2000) (AT&T Wireless) (citing Sierra Club v. Morton, 405 U.S. 727, 733 (1972); Lawrence N. Brandt,
Memorandum Opinion and Order, 3 FCC Rcd 4082 (CCB DFD 1988) (Brandt)).

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DA 13-1787

action,16 and that any injury would be redressable by the relief requested.17 Similarly, Section 1.106(b)(1)
of the Commission's Rules provides that a petition for reconsideration filed by an entity that is not a party
to the proceeding must demonstrate how its interests are adversely affected by the Commission's action.18
When evaluating standing, the Commission applies the same test that courts employ in determining
whether a person has standing under Article III to appeal a court order: the person must show "(a) a
personal injury-in-fact that is (2) `fairly traceable' to the defendant's conduct and (3) redressable by the
relief requested."19
5. MC/LM fails to meet these requirements. It bases its standing claim on the fact that it holds
AMTS geographic licenses for the Southern Pacific and Great Lakes areas.20 It argues that if the instant
applications are granted, MC/LM would "face economic injury by having to face new competition from
[VSL] in the Southern Pacific geographic area and would have to face new competition from PSI in the
Great Lakes geographic area."21 The Commission has consistently viewed the claims of injury due to
new competition in the marketplace as remote and speculative, and not sufficient to establish a direct
injury required to show standing.22 Moreover, MC/LM offers no explanation for how it would be
adversely affected by competing with the Havens entities in the Great Lakes and PSI in southern
California instead of vice versa.
6. In the event that we find that it lacks standing, MC/LM asks that its petition be treated as an
informal request for Commission action under Section 1.41 of the Commission's Rules.23 Acceptance of
MC/LM's request pursuant to Section 1.41 is discretionary.24 In support of its request, MC/LM states
only that treating its petitions as an informal request is desirable due to "the public interest in the
matter."25 We find that this is insufficient.26

16 Auction 87 Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 4382 21; AT&T Wireless, 15 FCC Rcd at 4588 3 (citing Duke Power v.
Carolina Environmental Study Group, Inc., 438 U.S. 59, 72, 78 (1978)).
17 Auction 87 Order, 27 FCC Rcd at 4382 21; Weblink Wireless, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 17 FCC
Rcd 24642, 24647 11 (WTB 2002).
18 47 C.F.R. 1.106(b)(1); AT&T Corp. v. Business Telecom, Inc., Order on Reconsideration, 16 FCC Rcd 21750,
21751-52 5 (2001) (AT&T Corp.).
19 See SunCom Mobile & Data, Inc. v. FCC, 87 F.3d 1386, 1387-88 (D.C. Cir. 1996) (quoting Branton v. FCC, 993
F.2d 906, 908 (D.C. Cir. 1993) (quoting Allen v. Wright, 468 U.S. 737, 751 (1984))); AT&T Corp., 16 FCC Rcd at
21752-53 7.
20 See Petition at 2.
21 See Reply at 2.
22 See Petition for Reconsideration of Various Auction 87 Public Notices, et al., Memorandum Opinion and Order,
27 FCC Rcd 4374, 4385 28 (WTB MD & ASAD 2012). The Commission has consistently held that claims
predicated on the addition of new competitors in the marketplace amount to a "remote" or "speculative" injury and
are insufficient to confer standing. See, e.g., Brandt, 3 FCC Rcd at 4083 9; Improving Public Safety
Communications in the 800 MHz Band, Order, WT Docket 02-55, 26 FCC Rcd 5004 (PSHSB 2011) (800 MHz
23 47 C.F.R. 1.41.
24 See National Ready Mixed Concrete Co., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 23 FCC Rcd 5250, 5251 n.12 (2008);
see also Charles T. Crawford, et al. Memorandum Opinion and Order, 17 FCC Rcd 19328, 19329 (2002) (stating
that the Commission is not obligated to consider informal requests).
25 See Reply at 2 n.2.
26 See, e.g., 800 MHz Order, 26 FCC Rcd at 5009 17. In addition, as the Commission has noted, "a party cannot
evade the procedural requirements of Section 1.106 by concurrently requesting the same relief under Section 1.41."
See Motorola, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 25 FCC Rcd 455, 456 n.8 (2010) (quoting Motorola, Inc.,

Federal Communications Commission

DA 13-1787

7. Conclusion. MC/LM has not demonstrated that it has standing to challenge the above-
captioned applications. Therefore, we dismiss its petition.
8. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Sections 4(i), 309, and 405 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. 154(i), 309, 405, and Sections 1.106 and 1.939
of the Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. 1.106, 1.939, that the Petition to Dismiss or Deny and Petition
for Reconsideration filed by Maritime Communications/Land Mobile, LLC Debtor-in-Possession on May
8, 2013 IS DISMISSED, and application File No. 0005733853 SHALL BE PROCESSED consistent with
this Order and Order on Reconsideration and the Commission's Rules.
9. This action is taken under delegated authority pursuant to Sections 0.131 and 0.331 of the
Commission's Rules, 47 C.F.R. 0.131, 0.331.
Scot Stone
Deputy Chief, Mobility Division
Wireless Telecommunications Bureau

(...continued from previous page)
Order on Reconsideration, 22 FCC Rcd 18649, 18651 7 (WTB MD 2007)). We see no reason why this does not
apply equally to Section 1.939.

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