FCC spectrum auction bidding ends at $19.6 billion

By David Shepardson WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Federal Communications Commission said Friday that bidding in the wireless spectrum auction has ended at $19.6 billion, significantly less than many analysts had initially forecast. The so-called broadcast incentive spectrum auction is one of the commission’s most complex and ambitious to date and should be complete by April. The FCC said last year that 62 bidders made upfront payments to take part, including AT&T Inc, Verizon Communications Inc, Dish Network Corp, T-Mobile US Inc and Comcast Corp. Of the nearly $20 billion raised, more than $6 billion will go to reduce the U.S. deficit, more than $10 billion will go to broadcasters that chose to relinquish spectrum rights, and up to $1.75 billion for other broadcasters that incur costs in changing channels.

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