Dish scooped up all licenses in U.S. 'H-block' airwaves auction

WASHINGTON, March 10 Mon Mar 10, 2014 4:53pm EDT

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) - Dish Network Corp dominated last month's U.S. auction of so-called H Block spectrum frequencies with winning bids in all 176 markets that the Federal Communications Commission offered up.

The auction closed on February 27 after bids reached the exact total of $1.564 billion that the satellite TV provider had pledged as a reserve price.

A results sheet, recently posted online, shows that an entity called "American H Block Wireless LLC," which was how Dish participated in the sale, won all licenses in the auction.

Dish gained 10 megahertz worth of spectrum in areas across numerous U.S. states and territories, including New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, San Francisco, Boston and Washington.

To view the results, see fcc.us/1eVrkUp

The H Block spectrum is adjacent to some frequencies already owned by Dish, giving the company control of a valuably contiguous slice of airwaves. However, it is unclear how the company plans to use the spectrum.

Dish was the largest and most formidable of the participants, which included smaller carriers and individual investors.

The company's representative declined to comment, citing anti-collusion restrictions in effect until Friday. Final payments are due on March 28.

Dish had pledged $1.564 billion for the H block spectrum in exchange for the FCC giving it more flexibility on how fast and how the company would use some of the spectrum it already had.

A couple walks along the rough surf during sunset at Oahu's North Shore, December 26, 2013. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

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