If you’re one of the applicants (and there are fewer than 100 of you out there, so you know who you are) who have signed up to participate in Auction 79 in September, it’s crunch time. Or more accurately, ka-ching time. The FCC has released its latest public notice, welcoming into the auction parlor the applicants whose applications were complete, and warning others about the steps they must take, pronto, if they want to get in the game. Most importantly, though, the latest public notice reminds one and all that the deadline for up-front payments is Friday, July 31 at 6:00 p.m. (EDT) – remember, the money has got to be in the FCC’s bureaucratic hands by that time.
As we have previously reported, the Commission is putting 122 FM channels on the block. It appears that about half the folks who filed are going after one channel and one channel only. About a dozen have specified two channels, and others have specified various numbers of channels, including one applicant who has targeted 120 channels and eight who have listed all 122.
The Commission identified 26 applications as “incomplete”, but all is not lost for them, as they all may be able to get back in the game. The FCC will be sending each of them its own billet doux, by overnight delivery, cluing them into why their apps were deemed “incomplete”. They will then have until 6:00 p.m. (EDT) on July 31 to (a) resubmit their applications with all the deficiencies corrected, and (b) make the necessary up-front payment. (The window for filing corrected applications opened with the release of the public notice, so if you’re in this category, you can get cracking now.)
Another six applications were rejected because the applicants were disqualified, mainly because they checked “yes” to the noncommercial election question on Form 175. (NCE applicants are not permitted to compete against mutually exclusive applicants in auctions for commercial channels.)
The public notice provides useful guidance on the payment requirements, the process for resubmitting incomplete applications, and the need to keep information in previously-filed applications updated. Perhaps most importantly, it includes a detailed reminder about the anti-collusion rules. The Commission takes those rules VERY seriously, and it expects – nay, compels – all applicants to do the same. If you are not yet familiar with them but have filed applications in this auction, you should drop everything and bone up on the anti-collusion rules immediamente. (If you don’t believe us, check out the materials at the FCC’s anti-collusion link.) For Auction 79, the anti-collusion rules became effective as of June 25 at 6:00 p.m. (EDT), and will stay effective until the Commission gives the all-clear signal in a public notice to be issued after the bidding closes.