TS News - MCI Wins Satellite Licence

TELE-satellit News, 9 December 1996

MCI Wins Satellite Licence
  WASHINGTON, DC, USA, 96/12/07 (TS) -- MCI Communications Corp. has been
awarded the licence it needs to begin digital multichannel satellite
broadcasting, regulators said Friday. The company will become the last
operator of such services in the USA, under current plans.

  MCI bought the licence for $683 million during an FCC auction in January
but it was put into question after MCI announced it would merge with
British Telecom. The licence was protested by competitor Time Warner Inc.
and others which had said the licence should now be re-auctioned. They
maintained the new company would not have qualified at auction time,
because of foreign ownership rules, and so should not qualify now.

  FCC rules prevent foreign companies holding more than 25 percent of an
FCC licence holder.

  MCI's Jonathan B. Sallet, chief policy counsel, commented, "Today's
decision by the Federal Communications Commission to issue the Direct
Broadcast Satellite (DBS) license won by MCI in last January's public
auction is a win for competition, a win for American taxpayers and a
holiday present for consumers. MCI will move quickly to transfer the
balance of the $682.5 million payment for the license to the U.S. Treasury."

  The company plans to launch a 150 channel DBS service during 1997 with
Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation.
(c)TELE-satellit 1996. All rights reserved.

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