Falcone Rules Out Bankruptcy In Wake Of FCC Decision

Feb 16 2012 | 3:16pm ET

Harbinger Capital Partners founder Philip Falcone says his wireless broadband startup LightSquared won’t be filing for bankruptcy, despite bad news from U.S. regulators.

A day after the Federal Communications Commission announced it would revoke its permission for LightSquared’s land-based network, Falcone told Reuters by email on Wednesday that bankruptcy was “clearly not on our table.”

Falcone says he has a plan for dealing with the threatened revocation, although he declined to reveal any details to the news agency.

The regulator’s decision is based on a series of government tests which found that LightSquared's network would interfere with global positioning systems. The decision is bad news for Harbinger which has over half its remaining $4 billion in assets invested in the broadband venture.

"The commission clearly stated from the outset that harmful interference to GPS would not be permitted," FCC spokeswoman Tammy Sun said. "The commission will not lift the prohibition on LightSquared."

LightSquared has called the validity of the negative tests into question and said that interference issues could be resolved.

Reuters says many telecoms analysts doubt Harbinger will be able to raise more money or become profitable with just the satellite-based portion of its network.

There’s still one bright spot for Falcone, however: LightSquared's main business partner Sprint Nextel still plans to give the company until mid-March to address its issues with the FCC.


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