47 CFR § 1.2205 - Prohibition of certain communications.
(1) For the purposes of this section, a full power broadcast television licensee, or a Class A broadcast television licensee, shall include all controlling interests in the licensee, and all officers, directors, and governing board members of the licensee.
(b) Certain communications prohibited.
(1) Except as provided in paragraph (b)(2) of this section, in the broadcast television spectrum incentive auction conducted under section 6403 of the Spectrum Act, beginning on the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction and until the results of the incentive auction are announced by public notice, all full power and Class A broadcast television licensees are prohibited from communicating directly or indirectly any incentive auction applicant's bids or bidding strategies to any other full power or Class A broadcast television licensee or to any forward auction applicant.
(2) The prohibition described in paragraph (b)(1) of this section does not apply to the following:
(i) Communications between full power or Class A broadcast television licensees if they share a common controlling interest, director, officer, or governing board member as of the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction;
(ii) Communications between a forward auction applicant and a full power or Class A broadcast television licensee if a controlling interest, director, officer, or holder of any 10 percent or greater ownership interest in the forward auction applicant, as of the deadline for submitting short-form applications to participate in the forward auction, is also a controlling interest, director, officer, or governing board member of the full power or Class A broadcast television licensee, as of the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction; and
(iii) Communications regarding reverse auction applicants' (but not forward auction applicants') bids and bidding strategies between parties to a channel sharing agreement executed prior to the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction and disclosed on a reverse auction application.
(c) Duty to report potentially prohibited communications. A party that makes or receives a communication prohibited under paragraph (b) of this section shall report such communication in writing immediately, and in any case no later than five business days after the communication occurs. A party's obligation to make such a report continues until the report has been made.
(d) Procedures for reporting potentially prohibited communications. Reports under paragraph (c) of this section shall be filed as directed in public notices detailing procedures for bidding in the incentive auction. If no public notice provides direction, the party making the report shall do so in writing to the Chief of the Auctions and Spectrum Access Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, by the most expeditious means available, including electronic transmission such as email.
(e) Violations. A party who is found to have violated the antitrust laws or the Commission's rules in connection with its participation in the competitive bidding process, in addition to any other applicable sanctions, may be subject to forfeiture of its winning bid incentive payment and revocation of its licenses, where applicable, and may be prohibited from participating in future auctions.
References to “full power broadcast television licensees” and “Class A broadcast television licensees” are intended to include all broadcast television licensees that are or could become eligible to participate in the reverse auction, including broadcast television licensees that may be parties to a channel sharing agreement.
For the purposes of this section, “controlling interests” include individuals or entities with positive or negative de jure or de facto control of the licensee. De jure control includes holding 50 percent or more of the voting stock of a corporation or holding a general partnership interest in a partnership. Ownership interests that are held indirectly by any party through one or more intervening corporations may be determined by successive multiplication of the ownership percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain and application of the relevant attribution benchmark to the resulting product, except that if the ownership percentage for an interest in any link in the chain meets or exceeds 50 percent or represents actual control, it may be treated as if it were a 100 percent interest. De facto control is determined on a case-by-case basis. Examples of de facto control include constituting or appointing 50 percent or more of the board of directors or management committee; having authority to appoint, promote, demote, and fire senior executives that control the day-to-day activities of the licensee; or playing an integral role in management decisions.
The prohibition described in § 1.2205(b)(1) applies to controlling interests, officers, directors, and governing board members of a full power or Class A broadcast television licensee as of the deadline for submitting applications to participate in the reverse auction, and any additional such parties at any subsequent point prior to the announcement by public notice of the results of the incentive auction. Thus, if, for example, a full power or Class A broadcast television licensee appoints a new officer after the application deadline, that new officer would be subject to the prohibition in § 1.2205(b)(1), but would not be included within the exceptions described in §§ 1.2205(b)(2)(i) and (ii).
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