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Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C. 20554
File No. EB-06-SE-086
In the Matter of )
NAL/Acct. No. 200732100013
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. )
FRN # 0008627473
Adopted: February 28, 2007 Released: March 1, 2007
By the Chief, Enforcement Bureau:
1. In this Order, we adopt the attached Consent Decree entered into
between the Enforcement Bureau and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ("Wal-Mart").
The Consent Decree terminates an investigation initiated by the
Enforcement Bureau regarding whether Wal-Mart violated Section 301 of
the Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and Sections
25.102(a) and 25.117(a) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules") by
modifying its satellite earth station facilities without authorization
and operating these facilities at variance from the terms of the
2. The Enforcement Bureau and Wal-Mart have negotiated the terms of a
Consent Decree that resolves this matter and terminates the
investigation. A copy of the Consent Decree is attached hereto and
incorporated by reference.
3. After reviewing the terms of the Consent Decree, we find that the
public interest would be served by adopting the Consent Decree and
terminating the investigation. In the absence of material new evidence
relating to this matter, we conclude that our investigation raises no
substantial or material questions of fact as to whether Wal-Mart
possesses the basic qualifications, including character
qualifications, to remain a Commission licensee.
4. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED, pursuant to Section 4(i) of the Act, and
the authority delegated by Sections 0.111 and 0.311 of the Rules, that
the attached Consent Decree IS ADOPTED.
5. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the above-captioned investigation into the
matters described herein IS TERMINATED.
6. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Wal-Mart shall make its voluntary
contribution to the United States Treasury, as specified in the
Consent Decree, by credit card through the Commission's Debt and
Credit Management Center at (202) 418-1995, or by mailing a check or
similar instrument, payable to the order of the Federal Communications
Commission, to the Federal Communications Commission, P.O. Box 358340,
Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340. Payment by overnight mail may be sent to
Mellon Bank/LB 358340, 500 Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh, PA
15251. Payment by wire transfer may be made to ABA Number 043000261,
receiving bank Mellon Bank, and account number 911-6106.
7. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that copies of this Order and Consent Decree
shall be sent by first class mail and certified mail, return receipt
requested, to Ms. Nancy Stewart, Senior VP, CTO, Information Systems
Division, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 702 Southwest Eighth Street,
Bentonville, Arkansas 72716, and to Mr. C. Douglas Jarrett, Esq.,
Keller and Heckman LLP, Suite 500 West, 1001 G Street, N.W.,
Washington, D.C. 20001.
FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION
Kris Anne Monteith
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
The Enforcement Bureau ("Bureau") of the Federal Communications Commission
("Commission") and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ("Wal-Mart") hereby enter into
this Consent Decree for the purpose of terminating the Bureau's
investigation into whether Wal-Mart violated Section 301 of the
Communications Act of 1934, as amended ("Act"), and Sections 25.102(a) and
25.117(a) of the Commission's Rules ("Rules") by modifying its satellite
earth station facilities without authorization and operating these
facilities at variance from the terms of the authorizations.
1. Section 301 of the Act prohibits a person from using or operating any
apparatus for the transmission of energy or communications or signals
by radio except under and in accordance with the Act and with a
license granted in accordance with the Act. Similarly, under Section
25.102(a) of the Rules, no person may use or operate any apparatus for
the transmission of energy or communications or signals by space or
earth stations except under, and in accordance with, an appropriate
authorization granted by the Commission. Pursuant to Section 25.117(a)
of the Rules, no modification of a radio station governed by Part 25
of the Rules may be made that affects the parameters or terms and
conditions of the station authorization, except upon application to
and grant of such application by the Commission.
2. Wal-Mart filed a Request for Special Temporary Authority ("STA") with
the Commission on February 21, 2006 to operate its domestic satellite
earth station facilities as modified, but not authorized under its
satellite earth station licenses. The International Bureau granted the
STA on March 3, 2006. Pursuant to an application for permanent
authority to modify and consolidate these licenses submitted on April
5, 2006, the International Bureau granted modified authority on June
2, 2006 consolidating Wal-Mart's five earth station licenses into
Station E940457. The International Bureau granted a modified,
consolidated license on July 17, 2006, authorizing Wal-Mart to
transmit on three sub meter earth stations.
3. The Enforcement Bureau issued a Letter of Inquiry to Wal-Mart's
outside counsel on June 8, 2006 seeking information on Wal-Mart's
domestic satellite earth station facilities, and Wal-Mart responded to
the letter on July 20, 2006.
4. For the purposes of this Consent Decree the following definitions
(a) "Act" means the Communications Act of 1934, as amended;
(b) "Adopting Order" means an order of the Commission adopting the terms
and conditions of this Consent Decree, in the form attached hereto;
(c) "Bureau" means the Enforcement Bureau of the Federal Communications
(d) "Commission" or "FCC" means the Federal Communications Commission;
(e) "Effective Date" means the date the Adopting Order is released by the
(f) "Investigation" means the investigation commenced by the Bureau's June
8, 2006 letter to Wal-Mart's counsel;
(g) "Parties" means Wal-Mart and the Bureau;
(h) "Rules" means the Commission's Rules found in Title 47 of the Code of
Federal Regulations; and
(i) "Wal-Mart" means Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
III. TERMS OF SETTLEMENT
5. The Parties agree that the provisions of this Consent Decree shall be
subject to final approval by the Bureau by incorporation of such
provisions by reference in the Adopting Order.
6. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree does not constitute either
an adjudication on the merits or a factual or legal finding or
determination of any compliance or noncompliance with the Act or the
Commission's Rules and orders. The Parties further agree that this
Consent Decree is for settlement purposes only and that by agreeing to
the Consent Decree, Wal-Mart does not admit or deny any liability for
violating the Act or the Rules in connection with the matters that are
the subject of this Consent Decree.
7. The Parties agree that this Consent Decree shall become binding on the
Parties on the Effective Date. Upon release, the Adopting Order and
this Consent Decree shall have the same force and effect as any other
final order of the Commission and any violation of the terms or
conditions of this Consent Decree shall constitute a violation of a
8. The Parties acknowledge and agree that this Consent Decree shall
constitute a final and binding settlement between Wal-Mart and the
Bureau regarding possible violations of the Act and the Rules with
respect to the modifications to earth station facilities made prior to
the Effective Date of this Consent Decree. In express reliance on the
covenants and representations contained herein, and in order to avoid
the potential expenditure of additional public resources, the Bureau
agrees to terminate the Investigation.
9. In consideration for termination of the Investigation by the Bureau
and in accordance with the terms of this Consent Decree, Wal-Mart
agrees to the terms set forth herein.
10. Wal-Mart acknowledges that the Bureau has jurisdiction over the
matters contained in this Consent Decree and the authority to enter
into and adopt this Consent Decree.
11. Wal-Mart agrees that, as of the Effective Date of this Consent Decree,
it will fully comply with the Rules concerning the licensing and
operation of earth station facilities and all other applicable
provisions of the Act and the Rules with respect to its satellite
earth station facilities. Consistent with this commitment, Wal-Mart
has developed satellite earth station regulatory compliance
procedures, as summarized below:
a. Satellite Earth Station Regulatory Compliance Procedures. Wal-Mart has
implemented Satellite Earth Station Regulatory Compliance Procedures
("Procedures") to ensure that its satellite earth station facilities
are operated consistent with the licenses granted by the FCC and
applicable FCC rules and policies. As plans for changes or
modifications to the Company's satellite earth station facilities are
finalized, Wal-Mart promptly determines whether its current satellite
earth station licenses (i) permit the proposed changes, or (ii)
whether an application for new or modified authority or a notice must
be submitted to the FCC.
b. Training and Responsibilities of Wal-Mart Associates. The Procedures
describe the training and roles of associates within Wal-Mart's
Satellite Network Engineering Group of the Information Systems
Division ("ISD"); Licensing Department ("Licensing"); and Legal
Department ("Legal"), all of which share responsibility to assess the
impact of proposed changes to Wal-Mart's satellite earth station
facilities, determine whether an application to modify, a notice of
minor modification or an application for a new license must be filed
with the FCC, and to ensure the filings are prepared and submitted.
c. Licensing Recommendation Review and Filings. ISD is responsible for
developing a Licensing Recommendation, based on discussions with
Wal-Mart's principal satellite technology vendor. This recommendation
is submitted to Licensing and Legal. Reliance on outside consultants
and counsel is authorized. As all three groups agree and sign-off on
the Licensing Recommendation, the necessary filings with the FCC and
frequency coordinators, along with concurrences from adjacent
satellite operators, as appropriate, are finalized and submitted.
Wal-Mart associates or contractors may modify the licensed parameters
of the existing earth station facilities or operate new facilities
only after authority is granted by or the required notice is filed
with the FCC.
d. Scheduled Meetings. The Procedures also call for at least two
scheduled meetings per year. One meeting shall involve ISD associates
and representatives of Wal-Mart's principal satellite technology
vendor. Its purpose is to review and confirm that Wal-Mart's satellite
earth station facilities continue to be operated consistent with
Wal-Mart's satellite earth station authorizations and, to the extent
necessary, applications for modification or notices for any proposed
operational changes and additional facilities are submitted and
granted by the Commission prior to implementation. The second
scheduled meeting shall include responsible Wal-Mart associates from
ISD, Licensing and Legal. The purpose of this meeting is to review
planned or potential changes to Wal-Mart's satellite earth station
facilities, the status of on-going network changes, pending
applications, and changes in FCC rules and policies related to
operation of satellite earth station facilities in the United States.
12. The Parties acknowledge that this Consent Decree shall constitute a
final and binding settlement between Wal-Mart and the Bureau regarding
possible violations of Section 301 of the Act and Sections 25.102(a)
and 25.117(a) of the Rules that were the subject of the Investigation.
13. The Bureau agrees that, in the absence of new material evidence, it
will not entertain or institute, or use the facts developed in this
Investigation or the existence of this Consent Decree to institute, on
its own motion, any new proceeding, formal or informal, or take any
action on its own motion, or recommend to the full Commission any
forfeiture or other sanction, against Wal-Mart for any alleged
violation of the Act or the Rules with respect to the modifications to
satellite earth station facilities made prior to the Effective Date of
this Consent Decree. The Bureau further agrees that, in the absence of
new material evidence, it will not use the facts developed in the
Investigation through the effective date to initiate on its own
motion, or recommend to the Commission, any proceeding, formal or
informal, or take any action against Wal-Mart with respect to
Wal-Mart's basic qualifications to hold Commission licenses or
14. The Parties agree that each is required to comply with each individual
condition of this Consent Decree. Each specific condition is a
separate condition of the Consent Decree as approved. To the extent
that Wal-Mart fails to satisfy any condition, in the absence of
Commission alteration of the condition, it will be deemed noncompliant
and may be subject to possible future enforcement action with respect
to such failure to satisfy the condition.
15. The Parties also agree that any provision of this Consent Decree which
conflicts with any subsequent rule, order of general applicability or
other decision of general applicability adopted by the Commission will
be superseded by such Commission rule, order or other decision.
16. Wal-Mart agrees to make a voluntary contribution to the United States
Treasury in the amount of thirty-two thousand dollars ($32,000) within
thirty (30) calendar days after the Effective Date. Such contribution
shall be made, without further protest or recourse, by credit card
through the Commission's Debt and Credit Management Center at (202)
418-1995, or by mailing a check or similar instrument, payable to the
order of the Federal Communications Commission, to the Federal
Communications Commission, P.O. Box 358340, Pittsburgh, PA 15251-8340.
Payment by overnight mail may be sent to Mellon Bank /LB 358340, 500
Ross Street, Room 1540670, Pittsburgh, PA 15251. Payment by wire
transfer may be made to ABA Number 043000261, receiving bank Mellon
Bank, and account number 911-6106. The payment must include NAL/Acct
No. 200732100013 and FRN No. 0008627473.
17. Wal-Mart's decision to enter into this Consent Decree is expressly
contingent upon the Bureau's issuance of an Adopting Order that is
consistent with this Consent Decree, and which adopts the Consent
Decree without change, addition, modification, or deletion.
18. The Parties waive any and all rights they may have to seek
administrative or judicial reconsideration, review, appeal or stay, or
to otherwise challenge or contest the validity of this Consent Decree
and Adopting Order, provided that the Adopting Order adopts the
Consent Decree without change, addition, modification, or deletion.
19. In the event that any court of competent jurisdiction renders this
Consent Decree invalid, this Consent Decree shall become null and void
and may not be used in any manner in any legal proceeding.
20. If either Party (or the United States on behalf of the Commission)
brings a judicial action to enforce the terms of the Adopting Order,
neither Wal-Mart nor the Commission shall contest the continuing
validity of the Consent Decree or Adopting Order. The Parties agree to
comply with, defend and support the validity of this Consent Decree
and the Adopting Order in any proceeding seeking to nullify, void or
otherwise modify the Consent Decree or the Adopting Order.
21. Wal-Mart waives any rights it may have under any provision of the
Equal Access to Justice Act, 5 U.S.C. S 504 and 47 C.F.R. S 1.1501 et
seq., relating to the matters addressed in this Consent Decree.
22. The Parties agree that the requirements of this Consent Decree shall
expire twenty-four (24) months from the Effective Date.
23. This Consent Decree cannot be modified without the advance written
consent of all of the Parties. This Consent Decree may be signed in
For the Enforcement Bureau:
By: ________________________ _________________________
Kris Anne Monteith Date
Chief, Enforcement Bureau
For Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.:
By: ________________________ _________________________
Nancy Stewart Date
Senior Vice President
CTO, Information Systems Division
47 U.S.C. S 301.
47 C.F.R. SS 25.102, 25.117.
47 U.S.C. S 154(i).
47 C.F.R. SS 0.111, 0.311.
47 U.S.C. S 301.
47 C.F.R. SS 25.102(a), 25.117(a).
At the time, Wal-Mart operated its domestic satellite earth station
facilities pursuant to five authorizations: E850548 (the Primary Hub
Antenna); E940457 (the Secondary Hub Antenna); and E850542, E850545, and
E850546 (the Remote Terminals).
See Grant of Authority for Application for Earth Station Special Temporary
Authority, File No. SES-STA-20060221-00274. On April 26, 2006, the
International Bureau extended the STA until June 29, 2006; see File No.
File No. SES-MOD-20060407-00593.
File No. SES-MOD-20060518-00847.
Letter from Kathryn Berthot, Deputy Chief, Spectrum Enforcement Division,
Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission to C. Douglas
Jarrett, Esq., Counsel to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (June 8, 2006).
Letter from C. Douglas Jarrett, Esq., Counsel to Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., to
Katherine Power, Esq., Spectrum Enforcement Division, Enforcement Bureau,
Federal Communications Commission (July 20, 2006).
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-800
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-800
Federal Communications Commission DA 07-XXXX