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May 30 2014 | 10:08am ET
Harbinger Capital Partners may sue the Federal Communications Commission over the agency’s refusal to approve its wireless Internet plans.
Harbinger founder Philip Falcone met last week with the FCC, whose decision to block deployment of LightSquared’s 4G network due to concerns about interference with global positioning systems led to the company’s bankruptcy filing in 2012. On Wednesday, he sent a letter to the regulator demanding “immediate, positive action” on LightSquared’s request to swap its share of the electromagnetic spectrum for a band that won’t interfere with GPS.
Such a move would “mitigate further damage” to Harbinger, which invested $3 billion in LightSquared. The hedge fund is seeking to retain control of the company in bankruptcy, but its favored plan requires FCC approval of LightSquared’s network.
“These problems were not of Harbinger’s making,” Falcone noted.
The meeting and letter could be a prelude to a lawsuit against the FCC. Indeed, representative of the Justice Department were present at the Friday meeting.
“The only reason they would be there is to defend the federal government in the event of a lawsuit,” telecommunications analyst Tim Farrar told the New York Post.