Falcone's Harbinger Loses Lightsquared Appeal

Dec 7 2015 | 6:43pm ET

Harbinger Capital Partners, which famously backed bankrupt wireless spectrum company LightSquared, lost its appeal of a lower-court decision in favor of GPS firms Garmin, Trimble and Deere.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York on Monday affirmed a February ruling by the Manhattan Federal Court, stating that Harbinger’s claims of fraud were “without merit”. 

In the original suit, Harbinger accused the GPS firms and an industry group of misleading it about signals interference, allegedly contributing to its failure.

The company has separate actions pending against the various parties in the Southern District of New York. The loss of the appeal comes less than a week after the U.S. Federal Communications Commission granted LightSquared's request to transfer its wireless spectrum into a newly formed company, which is expected to ease its eventual emergence from a complicated, acrimonious and drawn-out bankruptcy restructuring.  

LightSquared filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2012 after it lost its license to build a wireless network due to concerns that transmission on the spectrums it owned could interfere with GPS navigation systems.

Through the restructuring, Phil Falcone’s Harbinger ultimately relinquished most of its equity stake in LightSquared, and Falcone is not involved with the company’s new management. The firm is now led by former Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg and former FCC Chairman Reed Hundt.

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