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                                   Before the

                       Federal Communications Commission

                             Washington, D.C. 20554


                                             )                               
                                                                             
                                             )                               
     In the Matter of                                                        
                                             )   File Number: EB-09-LA-0003  
     Costco Wholesale Corporation/Costco                                     
     #737                                    )   NAL/Acct. No. 201032900002  
                                                                             
     Las Vegas, Nevada                       )              FRN: 0018778076  
                                                                             
                                             )                               
                                                                             
                                             )                               


                  NOTICE OF APPARENT LIABILITY FOR FORFEITURE

                                                  Released: December 22, 2009

   By the District Director, Los Angeles Office, Western Region, Enforcement
   Bureau:

   I. INTRODUCTION

    1. In this Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture ("NAL"), we find
       that Costco Wholesale Corporation/Costco #737 ("Costco), in Las Vegas,
       Nevada, apparently willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of
       the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act") by operating radio
       transmitters without a license. We conclude, pursuant to Section
       503(b) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), that
       Costco is apparently liable for a forfeiture in the amount of five 
       thousand dollars ($5,000).

   II. BACKGROUND

    2. On May 6, 2009, in response to a complaint of unauthorized use on
       154.540 MHz in Las Vegas, Nevada, an agent from the Enforcement
       Bureau's Los Angeles Office, using radio direction finding techniques,
       located transmissions on 154.540 MHz to a Costco store at 6555 N.
       Decatur Boulevard, Las Vegas, Nevada ("Decatur Boulevard Location").

    3. On May 7, 2009, the Los Angeles agent, again using radio direction
       finding techniques, located transmissions on 154.540 MHz to the Costco
       store at the Decatur Boulevard Location. The Los Angeles agent then
       spoke with the store manager at the Costco store. The manager was
       unaware of the requirement to have an authorization to operate on this
       frequency and could produce no license to verify that an authorization
       existed to operate on frequency 154.540 MHz. The manager stated that
       the communications system was installed and put into operation by
       Costco maintenance staff. The manager stated that Costco would
       immediately research the possibility of acquiring a license to operate
       on 154.540 MHz. Review of the Commission databases revealed that
       Costco Wholesale Corporation has an authorization, WPWT411, to operate
       at another location in the Las Vegas area, however, its authorization
       only included frequencies 468.4125, 461.3125, 468.8625, and 469.2875
       MHz.

    4. On May 15, 2009, the Los Angeles agent received e-mail notification
       from the manager stating that Costco had applied for a license to
       operate the radio system.

    5. On June 8, 2009, Costco was granted an authorization, WQKI861, to
       operate from the Decatur Boulevard Location on 461.650, 463.350,
       466.650, 466.975, and 468.350 MHz. On June 23, 2009, Costco was
       granted a modification to WQKI861, which changed its authorized
       operating frequencies to 151.520, 151.745, 159.525, 159.645, and
       160.095 MHz.

   III. DISCUSSION

    6. Section 503(b) of the Act provides that any person who willfully or
       repeatedly fails to comply substantially with the terms and conditions
       of any license, or willfully or repeatedly fails to comply with any of
       the provisions of the Act or of any rule, regulation, or order issued
       by the Commission thereunder, shall be liable for a forfeiture
       penalty. The term "willful" as used in Section 503(b) has been
       interpreted to mean simply that the acts or omissions are committed
       knowingly. The term "repeated" means the commission or omission of
       such act more than once or for more than one day.

    7. Section 301 of the Act states  that "[no] person shall use or operate
       any apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or
       signals by radio... except under and in accordance with this Act and
       with a license in that behalf granted under the provisions of this
       Act." On May 6 and May 7, 2009, the Los Angeles agent located
       transmissions on 154.540 MHz to the Costco store at the Decatur
       Boulevard Location. The store manager acknowledged to the agent that
       the store had no license authorizing operations on 154.540 MHz. While
       Costco has a license to operate at another location in the Las Vegas
       area, there is no evidence that its license authorized Costco to
       operate on 154.540 MHz from the Decatur Boulevard Location. The
       violation occurred on more than one day, therefore, it was repeated.
       As the holder of multiple FCC licenses, Costco was aware such
       operations required a license. Therefore, the violation was willful.
       Based on the evidence before us, we find that Costco  apparently
       willfully and repeatedly violated Section 301 of the Act.

    8. Pursuant to The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment
       of Section 1.80 of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines,
       ("Forfeiture Policy Statement"), and Section 1.80 of the Rules, the
       base forfeiture amount for operation without an instrument of
       authorization is $10,000. In assessing the monetary forfeiture amount,
       we must also take into account the statutory factors set forth in
       Section 503(b)(2)(E) of the Act, which include the nature,
       circumstances, extent, and gravity of the violations, and with respect
       to the violator, the degree of culpability, and history of prior
       offenses, ability to pay, and other such matters as justice may
       require. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80, and
       the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that Costco's
       operation is not analogous to a "pirate" station operator, and,
       consequently, we downwardly adjust the proposed forfeiture amount to
       $5,000. Applying the Forfeiture Policy Statement, Section 1.80, and
       the statutory factors to the instant case, we conclude that Costco  is
       apparently liable for a $5,000 forfeiture.

   IV. ORDERING CLAUSES

    9. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 503(b) of the
       Communications Act of 1934, as amended, and Sections 0.111, 0.311,
       0.314, and 1.80 of the Commission's Rules, Costco Wholesale
       Corporation/Costco #737 is hereby NOTIFIED of this APPARENT LIABILITY
       FOR A FORFEITURE in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) for
       violations of Section 301 of the Act.

   10. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that, pursuant to Section 1.80 of the
       Commission's Rules within thirty days of the release date of this
       Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, Costco Wholesale
       Corporation/Costco #737 SHALL PAY the full amount of the proposed
       forfeiture or SHALL FILE a written statement seeking reduction or
       cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.

   11. Payment of the forfeiture must be made by check or similar instrument,
       payable to the order of the Federal Communications Commission. The
       payment must include the NAL/Account Number and FRN Number referenced
       above. Payment by check or money order may be mailed to Federal
       Communications Commission, P.O. Box 979088, St. Louis, MO 63197-9000.
       Payment by overnight mail may be sent to U.S. Bank - Government
       Lockbox #979088, SL-MO-C2-GL, 1005 Convention Plaza, St. Louis, MO
       63101. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 021030004,
       receiving bank TREAS/NYC, and account number 27000001. For payment by
       credit card, an FCC Form 159 (Remittance Advice) must be submitted.
        When completing the FCC Form 159, enter the NAL/Account number in
       block number 23A (call sign/other ID), and enter the letters "FORF" in
       block number 24A (payment type code). Requests for full payment under
       an installment plan should be sent to:  Chief Financial Officer --
       Financial Operations, 445 12th Street, S.W., Room 1-A625, Washington,
       D.C.  20554.    Please contact the Financial Operations Group Help
       Desk at 1-877-480-3201 or Email: ARINQUIRIES@fcc.gov with any
       questions regarding payment procedures. Costco will also send
       electronic notification on the date said payment is made to
       WR-Response@fcc.gov.

   12. The response, if any, must be mailed to Federal Communications
       Commission, Enforcement Bureau, Western Region, Los Angeles District
       Office, 18000 Studebaker Rd., Suite 660, Cerritos, CA 90703, and must
       include the NAL/Acct. No. referenced in the caption. An electronic
       copy shall be sent to WR-Response@fcc.gov.

   13. The Commission will not consider reducing or canceling a forfeiture in
       response to a claim of inability to pay unless the petitioner submits:
       (1) federal tax returns for the most recent three-year period; (2)
       financial statements prepared according to generally accepted
       accounting practices ("GAAP"); or (3) some other reliable and
       objective documentation that accurately reflects the petitioner's
       current financial status. Any claim of inability to pay must
       specifically identify the basis for the claim by reference to the
       financial documentation submitted.

   14. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Notice of Apparent Liability
       for Forfeiture shall be sent by Certified Mail, Return Receipt
       Requested, and regular mail, to Costco Wholesale Corporation/Costco
       #737, at its address of record.

   FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

   Nader Haghighat

   District Director

   Los Angeles Office

   Western Region

   Enforcement Bureau

   47 U.S.C. S: 301.

   47 U.S.C. S: 503(b).

   File No. 0003853269, granted June 8, 2009.  

   File No. 0003870172, granted June 23, 2009.

   Section 312(f)(1) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(1), which applies to
   violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of the
   Act, provides that "[t]he term 'willful', when used with reference to the
   commission or omission of any act, means the conscious and deliberate
   commission or omission of such act, irrespective of any intent to violate
   any provision of this Act or any rule or regulation of the Commission
   authorized by this Act...." See Southern California Broadcasting Co., 6
   FCC Rcd 4387 (1991).

   Section 312(f)(2) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S: 312(f)(2), which also applies
   to violations for which forfeitures are assessed under Section 503(b) of
   the Act, provides that "[t]he term 'repeated', when used with reference to
   the commission or omission of any act, means the commission or omission of
   such act more than once or, if such commission or omission is continuous,
   for more than one day."

   47 U.S.C. S: 301.

   12 FCC Rcd 17087 (1997), recon. denied, 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999); 47 C.F.R.
   S:1.80.

   47 U.S.C. S: 503(b)(2)(E).

   See Gateway Security Systems, Inc., 18 FCC Rcd 24026 (EB 2003).

   47 U.S.C. S:S: 301. 503(b), 47 C.F.R. S:S: 0.111, 0.311, 0.314, 1.80,
   1.903(a).

   See 47 C.F.R. S: 1.1914.

   (...continued from previous page)

                                                              (continued....)

   Federal Communications Commission

                                       4

   Federal Communications Commission