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Harbinger Sues FCC for $2 Billion in Damages

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The US telecoms regulator is facing a lawsuit for USD2 billion in damages that comes from its decision in 2012 to block the launch of a LTE network.

Philip Falcone's Harbinger Capital Partners was the lead investor in now-bankrupt LightSquared, which had planned to build a LTE network, which would have sold capacity on a wholesale basis to the other mobile network operators.

However, protests from GPS vendors who found that the network interfered with their receivers, even though they were using spectrum they were not authorised to use lead to the FCC blocking the LTE network launch.

"By requiring Harbinger to accommodate the GPS industry's continued unlawful occupation and use of LightSquared's L-band spectrum," Harbinger said, "the United States effectively reallocated LightSquared's spectrum to the GPS industry."

Harbinger is seeking recovery of its initial USD1.9 billion investment, along with damages.

Since the bankruptcy, the company has been in long winded attempts to settle with its creditors or sell off its radio spectrum, while also fighting attempts by Charles Ergen, Dish Network to take over the company.

Earlier this month, a tentative agreement would see several investors agree to a debt for equity swap and take control of the company. A separate lawsuit over the Dish Network investment will take place later this year.

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Tags: fcc  lightsquared  USA