47 CFR 73.3525 - Agreements for removing application conflicts.
(a) Except as provided in § 73.3523 regarding dismissal of applications in comparative renewal proceedings, whenever applicants for a construction permit for a broadcast station enter into an agreement to procure the removal of a conflict between applications pending before the FCC by withdrawal or amendment of an application or by its dismissal pursuant to § 73.3568, all parties thereto shall, within 5 days after entering into the agreement, file with the FCC a joint request for approval of such agreement. The joint request shall be accompanied by a copy of the agreement, including any ancillary agreements, and an affidavit of each party to the agreement setting forth:
(1) The reasons why it is considered that such agreement is in the public interest;
(2) A statement that its application was not filed for the purpose of reaching or carrying out such agreement;
(3) A certification that neither the applicant nor its principals has received any money or other consideration in excess of the legitimate and prudent expenses of the applicant; Provided That this provision shall not apply to bona fide merger agreements;
(4) The exact nature and amount of any consideration paid or promised;
(5) An itemized accounting of the expenses for which it seeks reimbursement; and
(6) The terms of any oral agreement relating to the dismissal or withdrawal of its application.
(b) Whenever two or more conflicting applications for construction permits for broadcast stations pending before the FCC involve a determination of fair, efficient and equitable distribution of service pursuant to section 307(b) of the Communications Act, and an agreement is made to procure the withdrawal (by amendment to specify a different community or by dismissal pursuant to § 73.3568) of the only application or applications seeking the same facilities for one of the communities involved, all parties thereto shall file the joint request and affidavits specified in paragraph (a) of this section.
(1) If upon examination of the proposed agreement the FCC finds that withdrawal of one of the applications would unduly impede achievement of a fair, efficient and equitable distribution of radio servce among the several States and communities, then the FCC shall order that further opportunity be afforded for other persons to apply for the facilities specified in the application or applications to be withdrawn before acting upon the pending request for approval of the agreement.
(2) Upon release of such order, any party proposing to withdraw its application shall cause to be published a notice of such proposed withdrawal at least twice a week for 2 consecutive weeks within the 3-week period immediately following release of the FCC's order, in a daily newspaper of general circulation published in the community in which it was proposed to locate the station. However, if there is no such daily newspaper published in the community, the notice shall be published as follows:
(i) If one or more weekly newspapers of general circulation are published in the community in which the station was proposed to be located, notice shall be published in such a weekly newspaper once a week for 3 consecutive weeks within the 4-week period immediately following the release of the FCC's order.
(ii) If no weekly newspaper of general circulation is published in the community in which the station was proposed to be located, notice shall be published at least twice a week for 2 consecutive weeks within the 3-week period immediately following the release of the FCC's order in the daily newspaper having the greatest general circulation in the community in which the station was proposed to be located.
(3) The notice shall state the name of the applicant; the location, frequency and power of the facilities proposed in the application; the location of the station or stations proposed in the applications with which it is in conflict; the fact that the applicant proposes to withdraw the application; and the date upon which the last day of publication shall take place.
(4) Such notice shall additionally include a statement that new applications for a broadcast station on the same frequency, in the same community, with substantially the same engineering characteristics and proposing to serve substantially the same service area as the application sought to be withdrawn, timely filed pursuant to the FCC's rules, or filed, in any event, within 30 days from the last date of publication of the notice (notwithstanding any provisions normally requiring earlier filing of a competing application), will be entitled to comparative consideration with other pending mutually exclusive affidavits.
(5) Within 7 days of the last day of publication of the notice, the applicant proposing to withdraw shall file a statement in triplicate with the FCC giving the dates on which the notice was published, the text of the notice and the name and location of the newspaper in which the notice was published.
(6) Where the FCC orders that further opportunity be afforded for other persons to apply for the facilities sought to be withdrawn, no application of any party to the agreement will be acted upon by the FCC less than 30 days from the last day of publication of the notice specified in paragraph (b)(2) of this section. Any applications for a broadcast station on the same frequency in the same community, with substantially the same engineering characteristics and proposing to serve substantially the same service area as the application sought to be withdrawn, filed within the 30-day period following the last date of publication of the notice (notwithstanding any provisions normally requiring earlier filing of a competing application), or otherwise timely filed, will be entitled to comparative consideration with other pending mutually exclusive applications. If the application of any party to which the new application may be in conflict has been designated for hearing, any such new application will be entitled to consolidation in the proceeding.
(c) Except where a joint request is filed pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, any applicant filing an amendment pursuant to § 73.3522 (b)(1) and (c), or a request for dismissal pursuant to § 73.3568 (b)(1) and (c), which would remove a conflict with another pending application; or a petition for leave to amend pursuant to § 73.3522(b)(2) which would permit a grant of the amended application or an application previously in conflict with the amended application; or a request for dismissal pursuant to § 73.3568(b)(2), shall file with it an affidavit as to whether or not consideration (including an agreement for merger of interests) has been promised to or received by such applicant, directly or indirectly, in connection with the amendment, petition or request.
(d) Upon the filing of a petition for leave to amend or to dismiss an application for broadcast facilities which has been designated for hearing or upon the dismissal of such application on the FCC's own motion pursuant to § 73.3568, each applicant or party remaining in hearing, as to whom a conflict would be removed by the amendment or dismissal shall submit for inclusion in the record of that proceeding an affidavit stating whether or not he has directly or indirectly paid or promised consideration (including an agreement for merger of interests) in connection with the removal of such conflict.
(e) Where an affidavit filed pursuant to paragraph (c) of this section states that consideration has been paid or promised, the affidavit shall set forth in full all relevant facts, including, but not limited to, the material listed in paragraph (a) of this section for inclusions in affidavits.
(f) Affidavits filed pursuant to this section shall be executed by the applicant, permittee or licensee, if an individual; a partner having personal knowledge of the facts, if a partnership; or an officer having personal knowledge of the facts, if a corporation or association.
(g) Requests and affidavits which relate to an application which has not been designated for hearing shall bear the file number of such application. If the affiant is also an applicant, the affidavit shall also bear the file number of affiant's pending application(s). Requests and affidavits which relate to an application which is designated for hearing shall bear the file number of that application and the hearing docket number and will be acted on by the presiding officer.
(h) For the purposes of this section an application shall be deemed to be “pending” before the FCC and a party shall be considered to have the status of an “applicant” from the time an application is filed with the FCC until an order of the FCC granting or denying it is no longer subject to reconsideration by the FCC or to review by any court.
(i) For purposes of this section, “legitimate and prudent expenses” are those expenses reasonably incurred by an applicant in preparing, filing, prosecuting, and settling its application for which reimbursement is being sought.
(j) For purposes of this section, “other consideration” consists of financial concessions, including, but not limited to the transfer of assets or the provision of tangible pecuniary benefit, as well as non-financial concessions that confer any type of benefit on the recipient.
(k) For purposes of this section, an “ancillary agreement” means any agreement relating to the dismissal of an application or settling of a proceeding, including any agreement on the part of an applicant or principal of an applicant to render consulting services to another party or principal of another party in the poroceeding.
(l) The prohibition of collusion as set forth in §§ 1.2105(c) and 73.5002 of this section, which becomes effective upon the filing of short-form applications, shall apply to all broadcast services subject to competitive bidding.
Although § 74.780 of the Rules makes this section generally applicable to low power TV, TV translators, and TV booster stations, paragraph (b) of this section shall not be applicable to such stations.