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                                   Before the

                       Federal Communications Commission

                             Washington, D.C. 20554


                                          )                                  
                                                                             
     In the Matter of                     )   File No. EB-02-IH-0768         
                                                                             
     STAR WIRELESS, LLC                   )   NAL/Acct. No. 00332080021      
                                                                             
     and                                  )   FCC Account ID No. 0441724048  
                                                                             
     NORTHEAST COMMUNICATIONS OF          )   FRN No. 0007043409             
                                                                             
     WISCONSIN, INC.                      )   File No. EB-02-IH-0768         
                                                                             
     Applicants for C Block Facilities    )   NAL/Acct. No. 200332080022     
     in the                                                                  
                                          )   FCC Account ID No. 0442010372  
     710-716 and 740-746 MHz Bands                                           
                                          )   FRN No. 0002706190             
                                          )                                  
                                          )                                  


                                ORDER ON REVIEW

   Adopted: May 2, 2007 Released: May 4, 2007

   By the Commission:

   I. introduction

    1. In this Order On Review, we grant in part and otherwise deny an
       Application for Review filed by Star Wireless, LLC ("Star") and a
       Petition for Reconsideration filed by Northeast Communications of
       Wisconsin, Inc. ("Northeast"). The Application and Petition were filed
       in response to forfeiture orders issued by the Enforcement Bureau
       ("Bureau") that imposed a monetary forfeiture in the amount of
       $100,000 against each company for its willful violation of section
       1.2105(c) of the Commission's rules, which prohibits auction
       collusion. Although we uphold the Bureau's finding of liability for
       both Star and Northeast, we reduce the forfeiture for each licensee to
       $75,000 because of their history of compliance with Commission rules.

   II. BACKGROUND

    2. The facts that formed the basis for the forfeitures are set forth in
       detail in the NALs and the Forfeiture Orders issued individually to
       Northeast and Star. A brief discussion of the facts, however, is
       appropriate. Northeast and Star each filed applications to bid for
       wireless licenses in the same geographic license areas in the
       Commission's August 27-September 18, 2002 auction of 740 Lower 700 MHz
       Band C and D block geographic area licenses ("Auction No. 44"). In
       anticipation of the auction, the Wireless Telecommunications Bureau
       issued several Public Notices specifically warning auction applicants
       against violating the anti-collusion rule by communicating about bids,
       bidding strategies or settlements with another applicant seeking to
       bid for licenses in the same geographic license areas, unless the
       applicants identified each other in their applications as having
       entered into agreements under section 1.2105(a)(2)(viii). The Public
       Notices also stated that this prohibition applied to all applicants
       between the deadline for filing a short-form application and the
       deadline for post-auction down payments.

    3. Star made its upfront payment and bid in the auction. Northeast did
       not make an upfront payment and was not allowed to bid in the auction.
       On August 28, 2002, David G. Behenna, Star's authorized bidder and the
       President of PCSGP, Inc.,  Star's operating manager,   left a
       voicemail message for Patrick Riordan, a shareholder, officer,
       director of and authorized bidder for Northeast,  requesting that Mr.
       Riordan return his call if Northeast was not participating in Auction
       44. The next day Mr. Riordan returned the call and spoke to Mr.
       Behenna. During their conversation, Mr. Riordan identified and
       discussed with Mr. Behenna Northeast's interest in five Wisconsin
       markets for which licenses were to be auctioned in Auction No. 44.
       Prior to that conversation, Star had bid only on licenses in the
       California and Florida markets. Subsequent to that conversation, Star
       ceased bidding on those markets and began bidding on markets at or
       near the geographical areas of interest to Northeast. Star won
       licenses in three Wisconsin markets located near Green Bay, in which
       Northeast had expressed its interest, and one Iowa market located
       adjacent to two markets for which an affiliate of Northeast is a
       Commission licensee.

    4. In September 2002, the Bureau received letters from counsel for Star
       and Northeast regarding the communications between these applicants
       during the auction. As a consequence, the Bureau investigated the
       communications and, on August 27, 2003, proposed forfeitures against
       Star and Northeast, finding that they had willfully violated the
       anti-collusion rule while they were applicants in Auction No. 44. Star
       and Northeast responded to the NALs, citing various arguments in
       support of their claim that they did not violate the anti-collusion
       rule, but on September 22, 2004, the Bureau rejected that contention
       and affirmed its earlier holdings. Star and Northeast then filed the
       Application and Petition challenging the Bureau's findings.

   III. DISCUSSION

    5. Star and Northeast argue that: (1) Northeast was not an "applicant" at
       the time of the communications at issue; (2) the anti-collusion rule
       is too vague to be enforced and has been inconsistently applied; (3)
       these enforcement proceedings are inconsistent with the plain language
       and intent of the anti-collusion rule; (4) the anti-collusion rule is
       unconstitutional; (5) the Enforcement Bureau lacks jurisdiction to
       render a forfeiture order in this case; and, (6) the forfeiture amount
       imposed in the Forfeiture Orders should be reduced. Each allegation is
       addressed below. Additionally, we incorporate by reference our prior
       analyses responding to these allegations.

     A. The Anti-Collusion Rule Applied To Northeast at  the Time of  the
        Communications

    6. Northeast and Star continue to argue that they did not violate the
       anti-collusion rule because Northeast was not an applicant at the time
       of the communications at issue. The Bureau addressed at length both
       parties' arguments regarding this issue in the Forfeiture Orders so we
       will address them only briefly here. Star and Northeast claim that
       Northeast's short-form application to participate in the auction was
       incomplete because Northeast did not pay the upfront money required to
       bid in the auction. They contend that, as a consequence, Northeast was
       never an "applicant" in the auction. This argument is without merit.
       Northeast timely submitted a short form application to participate in
       Auction No. 44. Thus, Northeast was an "applicant" in the auction, as
       that term is defined by sections 1.2105 of the Commission's rules and
       as used in the Public Notices associated with the auction. Neither the
       Commission's rules nor the Public Notices regarding Auction No. 44
       condition the term "applicant" upon the outcome of the Commission's
       review of submitted applications or its receipt of an upfront payment.

    7. Northeast also contends that its application was automatically and
       immediately dismissed when it failed to make the auction's required
       upfront payment and as a consequence, it no longer remained an
       applicant in the auction. Although the Commission's rules state that
       an applicant that does not submit the auction's minimum upfront
       payment "will be ineligible to bid" and the applicant's application
       "will be dismissed,"  that language does not circumscribe the
       definition of applicant for purposes of the anti-collusion rule
       contained in section 1.2105.  Moreover, the language of section
       1.2106(c) indicates future, not immediate or automatic, action.
       Because the dismissal requires future action by the Commission, the
       rule is not self-effectuating. Similarly, the dismissal provisions of
       sections 24.203(b) and (c) of the Commission's rules, upon which Star
       and Northeast rely, are not self-effectuating because the termination
       provisions are not solely contained in the rule. Instead, sections
       1.946(c) and 1.955(a)(2) of the Commission's rules specifically
       provide for the automatic termination of a licensee's license for
       violation of section 24.203.

    8. Northeast claims that an auction applicant must be able to bid in the
       auction and, since it did not make the required upfront payment and
       therefore was not allowed to bid, it was not an auction applicant. But
       sections 1.2105 and 1.2106 of the Commission's rules consistently
       refer to a person or entity that submits a short form application to
       participate in an auction as an auction "applicant." At no point does
       either rule suggest that those who do not make the upfront payment are
       no longer "applicants." Pursuant to these sections, applicants who
       submit a completed short form application and the required upfront
       payment are applicants qualified to bid in the auction. Those whose
       applications are not accepted and/or who do not submit the upfront
       payment are applicants that failed to qualify to bid in the auction.
       In either instance, the parties remain auction "applicants."

    9. Finally, Northeast argues that it could not violate the anti-collusion
       rule by discussing "bids" or "bid strategies" because it was not a
       "bidder" or "competing applicant" in the auction and thus had no bids
       or bidding strategies to discuss. To the contrary, Northeast became a
       "competing applicant" with Star when it submitted a short-form
       application specifying its intent to bid on the same markets chosen by
       Star. Additionally, the plain language of the anti-collusion rule
       clearly states that applicants are prohibited from discussing not only
       their own bids and bidding strategies but also those of any other
       applicants that applied to bid in the same auction markets. The
       Commission repeatedly has explained that the anti-collusion rule
       applies to all applicants that file a short-form application,
       regardless of whether they qualify to bid in the auction. Northeast
       violated the anti-collusion rule by discussing with Star the markets
       for which both had applied to bid and by collaborating with Star with
       respect to Star's bidding strategy in the auction.

     A. The Anti-Collusion Rule Is Not Vague or Unenforceable

   10. Northeast argues that prior Commission decisions regarding its
       anti-collusion rule have rendered the rule too vague to be
       enforceable. Specifically, Northeast claims that its actions are no
       worse than those permitted by the Commission in the Mercury and High
       Plains  cases. In those cases, Mercury and High Plains were competing
       bidders in an auction in which Mercury used trailing bid numbers to
       indicate the markets in which it was interested and to deter would-be
       competitors such as High Plains from bidding on a particular license.
       The Commission found such "reflexive bid signaling" violated the
       anti-collusion rule but did not merit sanction in that case because
       the auction participants had not received prior notice that such
       bidding activities were unlawful. Northeast argues that the
       Commission's grant of licenses in that instance sends a "garbled"
       message to applicants such as Northeast, making the anti-collusion
       rule too vague to be enforced.

   11. Northeast's reliance on the Mercury and High Plains decisions is
       misplaced. While both cases also concern application of the
       Commission's anti-collusion rule, their facts distinguish them from
       the instant case. Star and Northeast secretly discussed Northeast's
       market preferences and Star's bids and bidding strategies. Such
       activities are specifically prohibited by the plain language of the
       anti-collusion rule. In contrast, the Commission determined that the
       reflexive bid-signaling in Mercury and High Plains was not plainly
       prohibited at the time of the violations. Moreover, the Mercury
       decision specifically provided notice to applicants in future auctions
       that bid signaling violates the anti-collusion rule and thereafter
       would be subject to enforcement action. Thus, contrary to Northeast's
       assertions, these cases send a consistent, not garbled, message to
       auction participants.

   12. Similarly without merit is Northeast's related allegation that the
       Commission intends to facilitate collusion by identifying to auction
       participants the bidders and their bids at the end of each bidding
       round. It is the nature of an auction that bidders bid against each
       other. Informing bidders of competing bids so that they have an
       opportunity to assess their bidding strategy before the next bidding
       round is consistent with the processes the Commission established for
       an "open" auction. Doing so does not mean that the Commission intends
       to facilitate collusion by the bidders. To the contrary, the
       Commission vigorously attempts to thwart bidder collusion by defining
       collusive conduct for auction applicants and repeatedly notifying them
       in public notices related to the auction that collusion is prohibited;
       by monitoring auction bidding for suspicious bidding activity; and by
       diligently enforcing the rules and regulations enacted to prohibit
       collusive behavior. It is at all times the goal of the Commission to
       protect the integrity of its auction processes.

     A. The Bureau's Rulings Are Consistent With the Language and Intent of
        the Rule

   13. Star and Northeast also argue that the Commission's application of the
       anti-collusion rule is inconsistent with the language and intent of
       the rule. Northeast suggests that the standard used to make a finding
       in this case is based on a "staff clarification" that is inconsistent
       with the existing regulations, but it does not identify the "staff
       clarifications" that were allegedly used. As noted previously, it is
       the plain language of the anti-collusion rule that prohibits
       Northeast's and Star's conduct in this case, not a "staff
       clarification."

   14. To support the point that prior notice of an agency's rule's
       requirements must be given before a party can be sanctioned for
       violating the anti-collusion rule, Northeast cites High Plains, Radio
       Athens, Trinity Broadcasting of Florida, and U.S. v Chrysler Corp.
       Unlike the facts presented in those cases, but consistent with the
       principles enunciated therein, Northeast received clear notice, from
       both the plain language of the anti-collusion rule itself and the
       explanations and citations contained in the Public Notices released in
       conjunction with Auction 44, that it would remain an auction applicant
       until the post-auction down payment deadline and that it was
       prohibited from discussing or collaborating regarding bids or bidding
       strategy with any competing applicant until that time. Citing various
       cases, Northeast incorrectly classifies the Commission's prior
       decisions regarding the anti-collusion rule as "substantive"
       interpretations that require a notice and comment proceeding. However,
       the cases cited do not support such a finding based upon the facts
       presented here. Unlike the circumstances presented in Air Transport
       and National Family, the Commission's interpretation of the
       anti-collusion rule in this case is not a new one. Rather, it follows
       a long line of interpretive decisions that consistently have been
       based upon the plain language of the rule. The Orengo case is most
       analogous to this one because both concern a governmental agency's
       interpretation of its own rules. As in Orengo, the Commission is not
       required to provide a notice and comment proceeding under the
       circumstances presented.

   15. Northeast became an "applicant" in the auction when it timely
       submitted a short-form application. Northeast became a "competing
       applicant" of Star when, as indicated on its short-form application,
       it chose to bid for licenses "in any of the same geographic license
       areas" chosen by Star on its application. Even though Northeast did
       not submit its upfront payment and so did not qualify to bid in the
       auction, it remained an applicant for purposes of the anti-collusion
       rule, pursuant to section 1.2105(c), because it was an applicant after
       the short-form filing deadline. Despite Northeast's allegations to the
       contrary, such an interpretation is consistent with the plain language
       of the anti-collusion rule and the principles set forth in the Trinity
       case upon which it relies. Additionally, auction applicants were
       repeatedly reminded in public notices related to the auction of the
       consequences of violating the anti-collusion rule and that they
       remained auction applicants for purposes of the anti-collusion rule
       until the post-auction down payment deadline. Coupled with the clear
       language of the anti-collusion rule, such notifications further
       satisfy the notice requirements discussed in the Satellite
       Broadcasting decision.

   16. Similarly, Star claims that "the Bureau failed to apply the
       anti-collusion rule in a manner consistent with the original intent
       and public policy considerations underlying the rule."  This argument
       appears to hinge on the use of the word "bidders," rather than
       "applicants," in the Commission's discussion of the rule in the Fifth
       Report and Order.  But soon after the release of that order the
       Commission clarified its intent and the anti-collusion rule's language
       by substituting the term "applicant" for the term "bidder." Thus,
       communications regarding bids or bidding strategies are prohibited
       between auction applicants that have applied to bid on licenses in any
       of the same geographic areas. The Commission also stated that the
       purpose of the anti-collusion rules is "to protect the integrity and
       robustness of our competitive bidding process." We adopt the rationale
       of the Star NAL and Star Forfeiture Order, and find that the Bureau's
       interpretation of the anti-collusion rule in this case is consistent
       with the language of the rule itself and with the rule's underlying
       intent.

     A. The Anti-Collusion Rule Is Constitutional

   17. Northeast also claims that the anti-collusion rule's prohibition
       against the collusive communications in this case violates the First
       Amendment as a vague and overbroad restriction on freedom of speech.
       It should be noted, however, that Northeast's new allegation is based
       on a false premise - that its communications with Star occurred "after
       it exited" the auction. As discussed herein and in the Northeast NAL
       and Northeast Forfeiture Order, Northeast remained an auction
       applicant at the time of the communications at issue.

   18. Contrary to Northeast's assertions, the anti-collusion rule is not
       vague or inconsistent and does not violate the United States
       Constitution. Rather, it is a precisely drawn means of serving a
       compelling governmental interest, to wit, the integrity of the
       Commission's auctions. The anti-collusion rule is neither vague nor
       overly broad. It does not prohibit all communications between
       applicants or prohibit any communications regarding the markets up for
       bid between applicants that have previously entered into, and reported
       on their short-form applications, bidding agreements with each other.
       Instead, it is narrowly drawn to prohibit competing applicants from
       discussing or collaborating during the auction regarding bids, bidding
       strategies and settlements related to licenses for which both parties
       wish to bid. This prohibition exists only during the time period
       between the short-form application filing deadline and the
       post-auction down payment deadline. Further, auction applicants were
       given ample notice of the anti-collusion rule and therefore knew of
       this prohibition when they submitted their short-form applications to
       participate in the auction.

   19. This case presents a good example of a reason the Commission clearly
       prohibits certain communications under the anti-collusion rule: an
       applicant that is not qualified to bid in an auction nevertheless
       secretly influences a bidding applicant to obtain the licenses it
       desires. It is reasonable to presume that the bidding applicant
       obtained those licenses with an expectation that it would be rewarded
       by the non-bidder for obtaining the licenses. Such conduct is unfair
       to other applicants and clearly undermines the integrity and success
       of the Commission's auctions. Prohibiting such communications between
       applicants during the proscribed auction period protects a valid
       governmental interest without infringing unduly on the First Amendment
       rights of auction participants.

     A. The Enforcement Bureau Has Jurisdiction To Enforce The Anti-Collusion
        Rules

   20. Northeast argues that section 0.111 of the Commission's rules denies
       the Enforcement Bureau jurisdiction to render a forfeiture order
       against it because this matter is related "to a pending application
       for a license." Section 0.111(a) of the Commission's rules conveys to
       the Enforcement Bureau the primary responsibility for enforcement
       functions related to certain Commission rules and regulations.
       Contrary to Northeast's implication, by enforcing the anti-collusion
       rule in this case, the Bureau is not ruling on a pending license.
       Neither the NALs nor the Forfeiture Orders addressed the merits of
       Northeast's or Star's applications for a license, and we do not do so
       now. Rather, the Bureau's primary focus and jurisdiction in this
       matter relates to enforcement of the auction's anti-collusion rule.
       Northeast has failed to present any authority undermining the Bureau's
       jurisdiction over such enforcement matters.

     A. The Forfeiture Amount Should Be Reduced

   21. Finally, both Northeast and Star argue that the forfeiture amounts
       imposed against them should be reduced. They argue that the Bureau did
       not properly assess the nature, extent and gravity of the offenses
       presented and that the Forfeiture Orders did not properly explain the
       reasons for imposition of the maximum forfeiture in this case.

   22. The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement specifies that the
       Commission shall impose a forfeiture based upon consideration of the
       factors enumerated in section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act, 47 U.S.C. S
       503(b)(2)(D), such as "the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity
       of the violation, and, with respect to the violator, the degree of
       culpability, any history of prior offenses, ability to pay, and such
       other matters as justice may require." The NALs  and Forfeiture Orders
       issued in this case complied with the requirements of the Forfeiture
       Policy Statement and section 503(b)(2)(D) of the Act. Each of these
       orders reviewed the nature, circumstances, extent and gravity of the
       anti-collusion rule violations and Northeast's and Star's culpability
       for them. While finding that Northeast and Star willfully and
       intentionally violated the anti-collusion rule and that such serious
       violations directly threaten the integrity and competitiveness of the
       auction process, the NALs invited Northeast and Star to present
       mitigating evidence showing why forfeiture should not be imposed or
       why the amount should be adjusted downward. In each subsequent
       response and petition  , Northeast and Star have refused to accept
       responsibility for violating the anti-collusion rule and have failed
       to present any new evidence to mitigate imposition of the proposed
       forfeitures. We note that neither Northeast nor Star has claimed
       financial hardship as a reason to reduce the forfeiture.

   23. Although the Forfeiture Orders found no basis for reducing the
       proposed forfeiture, after additional consideration of the forfeitures
       imposed, we conclude that a downward adjustment of the forfeitures is
       warranted. While both Northeast's and Star's actions were clearly
       willful and inconsistent with the plain language of the anti-collusion
       rule, their past history of compliance with the Commission's rules
       merits a reduction from the maximum forfeiture amount. Based on our
       records, neither Star nor Northeast, nor any of their affiliated
       companies, have any previous violations of Commission rules, whether
       in the auction context or otherwise. Therefore, we reduce the
       forfeiture amount attributable to each for violation of section
       1.2105(c) of the Commission's rules from $100,000 to $75,000.

   IV. ordering clauses

   24. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED THAT, pursuant to section 405(a) of the
       Act, 47 U.S.C. S 405(a), and sections 1.106(j), 1.115(g) of the
       Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. SS 1.106(j), 1.115(g), that the Petition
       for Reconsideration filed by Northeast Communications of Wisconsin,
       Inc. and the Application for Review filed by Star Wireless, LLC are
       DENIED, except as otherwise noted herein.

   25. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that a copy of this Order On Review shall be
       sent by Certified Mail Return - Receipt Requested, to: Northeast
       Communications of Wisconsin, Inc., 450 Security Boulevard, P.O. Box
       19079, Green Bay, Wisconsin 54307-9079; and to its counsel: Thomas
       Gutierrez, Esq., Lukas, Nace, Gutierrez & Sachs, Chtd., 1111
       Nineteenth Street, N.W., Suite 1200, Washington, D.C. 20036. A copy
       shall also be sent by Certified Mail Return - Receipt Requested, to:
       Star Wireless, LLC, 4000 Palos Verdes Dr. North, Suite 201, Rollings
       Hills Est., California 90274; and to its counsel: Mark J. Tauber,
       Esq., Piper Rudnick, 1200 Nineteenth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C.
       20036-3900.

   FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

   Marlene H. Dortch

   Secretary

   See Application For Review, filed by Mark J. Tauber, Esquire and D. Peter
   Valiotis, Esquire, counsel for Star Wireless, LLC, on October 22, 2004
   ("Application"). See also Letter from Paul W. Jamieson, counsel for Star,
   to Maureen F. Del Duca, Chief, Investigations and Hearings Division,
   Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, dated September 26,
   2003 ("Star Response").

   See Petition For Reconsideration, filed by Thomas Gutierrez, Esquire,
   counsel for Northeast, on October 22, 2004 ("Petition").  See also
   Response To Notice of Apparrent [sic] Liability, filed by Thomas
   Gutierrez, Esquire, counsel for Northeast, on September 26, 2003
   ("Northeast Response")(together with Star Response, the "Responses").

   47 C.F.R. S1.106(a)(1) allows a Bureau to refer to the Commission
   petitions requesting reconsideration of final actions taken by the Bureau
   pursuant to delegated authority. Because Star's Application requires
   Commission-level review, the Bureau has referred Northeast's Petition  to
   the Commission and we shall also treat it as an Application for Review.

   See Northeast Communications of Wisconsin, Inc., Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC
   Rcd 18635 (Enf. Bur. 2004) ("Northeast  Forfeiture Order"); see also Star
   Wireless, LLC, Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd 18626 (Enf. Bur. 2004) ("Star
   Forfeiture Order") (together, the "Forfeiture Orders"). See also Northeast
   Communications of Wisconsin, Inc., Notice of Apparent Liability for
   Forfeiture, 18 FCC Rcd 17672 (Enf. Bur. 2003 ) ("Northeast NAL"); Star
   Wireless, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture, 18 FCC Rcd
   17648 (Enf. Bur. 2003 ) ("Star NAL") (each an "NAL", together the "NALs").
   Because both cases involve the same underlying facts, we have consolidated
   our decision regarding each licensee in this Order.

   47 C.F.R. S 1.2105(c) (the "anti-collusion rule"). Section 1.2105(c)(1)
   states, in pertinent part: "[A]fter the [FCC Form 175] short-form
   application filing deadline, all applicants for licenses in any of the
   same geographic license areas are prohibited from cooperating or
   collaborating with respect to, discussing with each other, or disclosing
   to each other in any manner the substance of their own, or each other's,
   or any other competing applicant's bids or bidding strategies, or
   discussing or negotiating settlement agreements, until after the down
   payment deadline, unless such applicants are members of a bidding
   consortium or other joint bidding arrangement identified on the bidder's
   short-form application pursuant to S 1.2105(a)(2)(viii)." 47 C.F.R. S
   1.2105(c)(1).

   See Northeast Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 18635-36, PP 2-3. See also
   Northeast NAL, 18 FCC Rcd at 17672-79, PP 2-17; Star Forfeiture Order, 19
   FCC Rcd at 18626-27, PP 2-3;  Star NAL, 18 FCC Rcd at 17648-55, PP 2-16.
   These documents are incorporated herein by reference.

   See Northeast NAL, 18 FCC Rcd at 17676, PP 8-9. See also Star NAL, 18 FCC
   Rcd 17652-53, PP 8-9.

   See  Auction of Licenses in the 698-746 MHz Band Scheduled for June 19,
   2002, Public Notice, DA 02-563 at 8 (WTB rel. March 20, 2002) ("March 20
   Procedures Public Notice"); Auction of Licenses for 698-746 MHz Band:
   Status of FCC Form 175 Applications to Participate in the Auction, Public
   Notice, DA 02-1213 at 4-5 (WTB rel. May 24, 2002) ("May 24 Status Public
   Notice"); Auction of Licenses for 698-746 MHz Band: 128 Qualified Bidders,
   Public Notice, DA 02-1346 at 7 (WTB rel. June 7, 2002) ("June 7 Qualified
   Bidders Public Notice"); and Auction No. 44- Revised Qualified Bidder
   Notification, Public Notice, DA 02-1933 at 8 (WTB rel. August 7, 2002)
   ("August 7 Revised Qualified Bidders Public Notice"); 47 C.F.R S
   1.2105(a)(2)(viii).

   See, e.g., March 20 Procedures Public Notice at 7 ("[T]he Commission's
   rules prohibit applicants for the same geographic license area from
   communicating with each other during the auction about bids, bidding
   strategies, or settlements. This prohibition begins at the short-form
   application filing deadline and ends at the down payment deadline after
   the auction.").  Further, the March 20 Procedures Public Notice directed
   applicants to a list of precedents applying the anti-collusion rule,
   several of which explicitly applied the rule to applicants that
   subsequently did not bid in the auction (See, e.g., Letter to Robert
   Pettit, Esquire, from Margaret W. Wiener, Chief, Auctions and Industry
   Analysis Division, Wireless Telecommunications Bureau, Federal
   Communications Commission, 16 FCC Rcd 10080 (WTB 2000) (declining to
   except an applicant's controlling interest from coverage by the
   anti-collusion rule, even though the applicant never made an upfront
   payment for the auction and was not listed as a qualified bidder);
   Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act - Competitive
   Bidding, Fourth Memorandum Opinion and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 6858, 6867 P 50-51
   (1994) (rejecting the argument that communications prohibited by the
   anti-collusion rule should be permitted during auctions between active and
   non-active bidders)); May 24 Status Public Notice at 4 ("The Bureau has
   previously stated that auction applicants who have applied for licenses in
   any of the same geographic areas, and who are also applicants for licenses
   in the same or competing services must affirmatively avoid all discussions
   with each other that affect, or in their reasonable assessment have the
   potential to affect their bidding or bidding strategy. For Auction No. 44,
   this prohibition became effective at the short-form application filing
   deadline on Wednesday, May 8, 2002, and will end on the post-auction down
   payment deadline, which will be announced in a future public notice.").

   See  Auction of Licenses in the 698-746 MHz Band Scheduled for June 19,
   2002, Public Notice, DA 02-1933 at 6 (WTB rel. March 20, 2002) ("Revised
   Qualified Bidder Notification").

   See Northeast NAL, 18 FCC Rcd at 17677, P 10.

   See id at 17676, P 8.

   See id.  at 17676, P 9.

   See id. at 17678, PP 13-15, 19.

   See Letter from E. Ashton Johnson, Esquire, and Paul W. Jamieson, Esquire,
   counsel for Star, to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications
   Commission, dated September 6, 2002 (the "Star Notification Letter");
   Letter from Timothy E. Welch, Esquire, counsel for Northeast, to Margaret
   Wiener, Chief, Auctions and Industry Analysis Division, Wireless
   Telecommunications Bureau, Federal Communications Commission, dated
   September 6, 2002 (the "Northeast Notification Letter").

   See NALs.

   See Response To Notice of Apparent Liability, filed by Thomas Gutierrez,
   Esquire, counsel for Northeast, on September 26, 2003; Letter from Paul W.
   Jamieson, counsel for Star, to Maureen F. Del Duca, Chief, Investigations
   and Hearings Division, Enforcement Bureau, Federal Communications
   Commission, dated September 26, 2003.

   See Forfeiture Orders.

   See Application at 7-10; Petition at 3-7.

   See Petition at 3, 7-10.

   See Application at 10-12; Petition at 11-13.

   See Petition at 13-14.

   See Petition at 7.

   See Application at 13-15; Petition at 15-16.

   Northeast also alleges that the Northeast Forfeiture Order did not address
   its prior argument that section 1.2105(c) is invalid because it did not
   display a valid control number pursuant to section 3512 of the Paperwork
   Reduction Act. See id. at 14-15. Northeast is mistaken. That allegation
   was addressed in the Northeast Forfeiture Order and need not be addressed
   here. See Northeast Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd  at 18642, P 14. See also
   Geotek Communications, Inc., Memorandum Opinion and Order, 16 FCC Rcd
   15010 (2001) (summarily denying Application for Review that did not
   present any new information not previously considered and did not allege
   an erroneous finding of material fact).

   See Northeast Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 18638, P 5; Star Forfeiture
   Order, 19 FCC Rcd 18626 PP 2-16.

   See Northeast Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 18638-39; Star Forfeiture
   Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 18629.

   47 C.F.R. SS 1.2105, 1.2106 (Sections 1.2105 and 1.2106 of the
   Commission's rules are provisions of "Subpart Q - Competitive Bidding
   Proceedings," which implement section 309(j) of the Act. These rules serve
   a mutual purpose and, accordingly, should be interpreted so as to be
   consistent with each other. Both rules continue to refer to those
   submitting a short-form application as "applicants" even though the
   applicants may not have made an upfront payment. See Northeast NAL, 18 FCC
   Rcd at 17675, P6. See also section 1.2105(c)(7)(1) of the Commission's
   rules ("The term applicant shall include all controlling interests in the
   entity submitting a short-form application to participate in an auction
   (FCC Form 175) . . ."); section 1.2105(c) of the Commission's rules
   ("[A]fter the short-form application filing deadline, all applicants for
   licenses in any of the same geographic license areas are prohibited from
   cooperating or collaborating with respect to, discussing with each other,
   or disclosing to each other in any manner the substance of their own, or
   each other's, or any other competing applicants' bids or bidding
   strategies, or discussing or negotiating settlement agreements, until
   after the down payment deadline . . .").

   47 C.F.R. S 1.2106(c).

   The most reasonable interpretation of the anti-collusion rule in section
   1.2105(c) is that any party or entity that has timely submitted a
   short-form auction application for a Commission auction (including certain
   interest holders in such entity as specifically provided in section
   1.2105(c)(7))isdeemed an auction applicant for purposes of the rule.
   Pursuant to the rule, that applicant status continues until the
   post-auction down payment deadline.

   The only reasonable interpretation of Section 1.2106(c) is that an
   applicant's failure to submit an upfront payment in compliance with that
   rule makes that applicant ineligible to bid and its application subject to
   dismissal when no longer relevant for purposes of the auction, i.e., when
   the application is rendered moot by the completion of the auction process
   at the post-auction down payment deadline and/or by the winning bidders'
   filing of long-form applications with respect to licenses they won.

   47 C.F.R. SS 24.203(b) and (c) (failure of any licensee to meet the
   build-out construction requirements for a station will result in
   forfeiture of the license).

   47 C.F.R. SS 1.946(c), 1.955(a)(2).

   47 C.F.R. SS 1.2105, 1.2106.

   See 47 C.F.R. S1.2106(c).

   The rules of statutory construction dictate that, where possible,
   statutory provisions should be interpreted so as to be consistent with
   each other. See Sullivan v. Stroop, 496 U.S. 478,484 (1990) (applying "the
   normal rule of statutory construction that identical words used in
   different parts of the same act are intended to have the same meaning").

   47 C.F.R. S1.2105(c) (prohibiting competing applicants from discussing
   "their own, or each other's, or any other competing applicants' bids or
   bidding strategies").

   See e.g., August 7 Revised Qualified Bidders Public Notice at 5-6
   ("Prohibition of Collusion. All parties that submitted short-form
   applications to participate in Auction No.44, including but not limited to
   qualified bidders (regardless of whether they elected to depart from the
   auction) . . . remain subject to the Commission's anti-collusion rule
   until the post-auction down payment deadline." See also  Northeast NAL, 18
   FCC Rcd at 17674, note 11. An applicant retains its "applicant" status
   even if it does not qualify to bid because it failed to make an upfront
   payment or elected to depart the auction. See also note 9, supra.

   Northeast cites Mercury PCS II, LLC, Notice of Apparent Liability, 12 FCC
   Rcd 17970 (1997) ($650,000 proposed forfeiture). But see Mercury PCS II,
   LLC, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 23755 (1998) ("Mercury")
   (rescinding the proposed forfeiture); Mercury PCS II, LLC, Memorandum
   Opinion and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 5756 (1997) (conditional grant of licenses
   to Mercury), reconsideration denied in part by Mercury  PCS II, LLC,
   Memorandum Opinion and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 18093 (1997), review denied by
   Mercury PCS II, LLC, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 9654 (2000),
   affirmed by High Plains Wireless, LP v. FCC, 276 F.3d 599 (D.C. Cir.
   2002).

   High Plains Wireless, LP v. FCC, 276 F.3d 599, 606-607 (D.C. Cir. 2002)
   ("High Plains") (affirming the Commission's award of licenses to Mercury,
   the court reasoned that "the [anti-collusion] rule probably did prohibit
   Mercury's conduct," but "whether reflexive bidding violated the rule
   against collusion appears to have been an unsettled - indeed, an unasked -
   question before the DEF auction. In this circumstance it was not
   unreasonable for the Commission to have deemed the rule ambiguous with
   respect to whether reflexive bidding was prohibited."). See also Mercury
   PCS II, LLC, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 13 FCC Rcd 5756 (1997),
   reconsideration denied in part by Mercury PCS II, LLC, Memorandum Opinion
   and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 18093 (1997), review denied by Mercury PCS II, LLC,
   Memorandum Opinion and Order, 15 FCC Rcd 9654 (2000), affirmed by High
   Plains.

   Mercury,  13 FCC Rcd at 607; High Plains,  276 F.3d at 606-07.

   Petition at 11.

   The Mercury decision gave bid signalers the clear notice required by
   Satellite Broadcasting Company v. FCC, 824 F.2d 1 (D.C. Cir. 1987)
   (because FCC failed to give clear notice of where application should be
   filed, the court reversed FCC's dismissal of application that was filed at
   wrong location).

   Petition at 9-10.

   See High Plains, 276 F.3d at 603.

   Petition at 11-13.

   See High Plains, 276 F.3d at note 39; Radio Athens, Inc. (WATH) v. FCC,
   401 F.2d 398, 404 (D.C. Cir. 2000) ("When the sanction is as drastic as
   dismissal [of an application] without any consideration whatsoever of the
   merits, elementary fairness compels clarity in the notice of the material
   required as a condition for consideration."); Trinity Broadcasting of
   Florida, Inc. v. FCC, 211 F.3d 618, 631 (D.C. Cir. 2000) (finding the
   FCC's rule provided insufficient notice of its requirements to justify
   dismissal of petitioner's application); U.S. v. Chrysler Corp., 158 F.3d
   1350 (D.C. Cir. 1998) (holding that an automobile manufacturer cannot be
   found to be non-compliant with a safety standard if the National Highway
   Traffic Safety Administration failed to give fair notice of what was
   required by the standard).

   See Response at 13 (citing Air Transport Ass'n of America, Inc. v. FAA,
   291 F.3d 49 (D.C. Cir. 2002) (notice and comment rulemaking is required if
   agency's interpretation of rule adopts a new position inconsistent with
   existing regulations); National Family Planning and Reproductive Health
   Association, Inc. v. Sullivan, 979 F.2d 227, 237 (D.C. Cir. 1992)
   (distinguishing "substantive" and "interpretive" rules and stating "for
   purpose of determining whether notice and comment rule making is required
   under the Administrative Procedure Act, a "legislative" or "substantive
   rule" is one that does more than simply clarify or explain a statutory
   term or confirm a regulatory requirement or maintain consistent agency
   policy"); and Orengo Caraball v. Reich, 11 F.3d 186, 196 (D.C. Cir. 1993)
   ("Orengo") (discussing the characteristics of "interpretive" rules, and
   finding the Department of Labor's risk of loss test to be an
   interpretation of its regulations, exempt from the notice and rule making
   requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act ("APA")).

   See 47 C.F.R. S 1.2105(c).

   Trinity, 211 F.3d at 625, 628 (although the court accords the Commission's
   interpretation of its own regulations a "high level of deference,
   accepting it unless it is plainly wrong," it states that the Commission
   must give "clear notice" of a rule's meaning before it can sanction a
   party for its "failure to comply with the rule's requirements").

   See Petition at 12.

   See Northeast Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 18638, P 6.

   Satellite Broadcasting Co. v. FCC, 824 F.2d 1, 3-4 (D.C. Cir 1987) ("The
   Agency's interpretation is entitled to deference but if it wishes to use
   that interpretation to cut off a party's right, it must give full notice
   of its interpretation.").

   Application  at 10.

   Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act - Competitive
   Bidding, Fifth Report and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 5532 (1994), at P 91.

   Implementation of Section 309(j) of the Communications Act - Competitive
   Bidding, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 9 FCC Rcd 7684, 7687 (1994)
   ("Implementation MO&O").

   Id. See also Amendment of Part 1 Of The Commission's Rules - Competitive
   Bidding Procedures, Seventh Report and Order, 16 FCC Rcd 17546 (2001) ("so
   that [the anti-collusion rule's] language clearly reflects the
   Commission's practice of prohibiting communications regarding bids or
   bidding strategies only between auction applicants that have applied to
   bid on licenses in any of the same geographic areas") (emphasis added).

   See  Implementation MO&O, 9 FCC Rcd 7684 at P 10.

   Star NAL, 18 FCC Rcd at 17657, P 20 ("Star learned of Northeast's interest
   in the markets which Mr. Riordan identified for Mr. Behenna and, thus,
   knew about potential post-auction demand for the licenses in those
   markets. At the same time, Northeast took advantage of an opportunity to
   influence Star's auction plan and strategy for its own purposes. In
   effect, Northeast was able to participate in the auction from which it had
   been disqualified to do so without providing notice to other applicants
   that might wish to compete against it. Indeed, Mr. Riordan's disclosure
   gave Star exclusive access to information concerning Northeast's interest
   in particular licenses that were unavailable to other auction participants
   bidding on the Wisconsin and Iowa markets in question."

   Star  Forfeiture Order, 18 FCC Rcd at 18632, P11 ("it is clear from the
   parties' subsequent communication that Star's Mr. Behenna contacted
   Northeast's Mr. Riordan on August 28, 2002, in order to initiate a
   discussion concerning bidding strategy.  Nothing that Star has presented
   in its Response leads us to any other conclusion.  Star concedes it placed
   the call to, and left a message on the answering machine of, Northeast's
   auction representative.  The only logical conclusion that one can draw,
   given the subsequent conversation between the two representatives, is that
   the message involved a solicitation about a prohibited subject: Star's
   auction bidding plans.").

   See Petition at 13.

   See Northeast NAL, 18 FCC Rcd at 17675, P 6.

   We note that it is not necessary for us to find that there was an
   agreement between Star and Northeast or that the communications between
   them actually altered Star's bidding strategy in order for us to find a
   violation of the anti-collusion rule. See Star NAL, 18 FCC Rcd at 17656, P
   19.

   Northeast Response at 7, citing 47 C.F.R. S 0.111(a) (stating that the
   Enforcement Bureau shall "(a) [s]erve as the primary Commission entity
   responsible for enforcement of the Communications Act and other
   communications statutes, the Commission's rules, Commission orders and
   Commission authorizations, other than matters that are addressed in the
   context of a pending application for a license or other authorization . .
   .").

   The Commission's Forfeiture Policy Statement and Amendment of Section 1.80
   of the Rules to Incorporate the Forfeiture Guidelines, 12 FCC Rcd 17087,
   17113 (1997), recon. denied 15 FCC Rcd 303 (1999) ("Forfeiture Policy
   Statement");  47 C.F.R. S 1.80(b).

   Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17100-01, P 27.

   See Star Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd  at 18630-33; Star NAL, 18 FCC Rcd
   at 17657-58; Northeast Forfeiture Order,  19 FCC Rcd at 18643; Northeast
   NAL, 18 FCC Rcd  at 17681.

   Star's argument that Mr. Behenna's August 28th voice mail message to Mr.
   Riordan did not violate the anti-collusion rule is unconvincing. Because
   the August 28th voice mail message was intended as a solicitation to
   collude regarding Star's bids and bidding strategies in Auction No. 44, it
   too violates the anti-collusion rule.

   Northeast does not claim an inability to pay the forfeiture amount imposed
   against it. Although the Star Response may have suggested an inability to
   pay the proposed forfeiture, its Application does not do so. See Star
   Forfeiture Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 18633, P 14 ("Although Star  Response
   suggested an inability to pay the forfeiture proposed in the NAL, [Star
   Response at 9] it has presented no documentation in support of such a
   claim.").

   See Forfeiture Policy Statement, 12 FCC Rcd at 17116.

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