Senator Seeks To Bar LightSquared Approval

Nov 18 2011 | 2:30am ET

Harbinger Capital Management's ambitious wireless Internet venture has a new opponent on Capitol Hill.

LightSquared has already faced scrutiny from Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), who has questioned whether Harbinger founder Phillip Falcone's donations to Democrats smoothed the regulatory way for the company. Now, Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) has introduced a bill that would take the matter out of the Federal Communications Commission's hands.

Roberts' bill would bar the FCC from giving LightSquared the necessary approvals until it has shown that its services won't interfere with global positioning systems. GPS users have warned that LightSquared could cause significant problems to all manner of precision GPS devices.

"There is too much at stake in interfering with a tool we all use, and on which our public safety and national security depend so heavily," Roberts said.

LightSquared call the proposed measure "unnecessary and redundant."

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