Advanced Television

SES vs Intelsat hearings: Public barred

August 20, 2021

By Chris Forrester

The August 19th application by Intelsat and SES to have much of their court arguments heard privately was granted by Intelsat’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy Judge.

Despite a strong case submitted by the US Trustee, who argued that the two litigants were seeking to close the courthouse door during their submissions and that the public had a right to know what was being presented to the court, Judge Keith Phillips ruled that the elements of the SES and Intelsat submissions – whether confidential or not – could remain ‘sealed’ and with the court proceedings only available (and viewable on Zoom) to approved lawyers for the parties involved.

One suggested option would have been for confidential matters to be heard privately, but all other elements to be open to all-comers. Judge Phillips said this was not feasible and would be unwieldly.

The judge said that the two parties would issue transcripts of the hearings although with confidential elements redacted. However, these transcripts are usually subject to a minimum 90-day delay in their release.

As to the judgements made on August 19th, the SES motion for an early Summary Judgement in its claim for $1.8 billion in compensation and penalties, was denied.

Judge Phillips said that Intelsat’s motion for its own Summary Judgement claim [Court Ref: 2346] was taken under advisement by the court. This was a 78-page document, filed in June 2021, which – in essence – argues that the C-Band Alliance and its related Consortium Agreement died when the FCC made its decision to hold a public auction.



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