Satellite Co. Says LightSquared Failed To Pay Up

Feb 24 2012 | 4:29am ET

Harbinger Capital Management's embattled—and reportedly cash-strapped—wireless Internet venture has a new headache.

A British satellite company that Harbinger chief Philip Falcone once dreamed of combining with LightSquared has now accused the latter of failing to make a scheduled payment. Inmarsat said this week that LightSquared had defaulted on a $56.25 million payment due under a four-year-old agreement between the two companies.

Inmarsat, of which Harbinger once owned nearly 30%, said that LightSquared was due to make the payment following completion of "Phase 1" of the 2007 agreement. "I can say categorically that we have fulfilled what was required on Phase 1 of the agreement," Inmarsat spokesman Chris McLaughlin told the New York Post.

LightSquared denied that it was in default, saying "several matters… require resolution" before the payment is made. But the company didn't say what those matters were; the Post reports that it may have to do with whether Inmarsat was required to introduce filters to reduce interference with global positioning systems.

That issue led to the Federal Communications Commission's decision earlier this month to pull the plug on LightSquared's proposed network. The company, into which Harbinger has invested more than half of its assets, said it would continue to seek a solution to the interference issue.

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