SES loses Intelsat claim
October 3, 2022
By Chris Forrester
A Virginia bankruptcy court has ruled (“disallowed”) the action by SES against Intelsat for a 50 per cent share of the FCC’s C-band incentive payments. The Court has allowed SES to appeal the decision if it so wishes.
SES says it is disappointed with the ruling. “It is reviewing with outside counsel its options to appeal,” says a statement.
Initially, SES sought $1.8 billion in compensation and punitive damages. That was reduced by negotiation to nearer $400 million.
The case hinged on discussions and alleged agreements made by Intelsat and SES when the two were key partners in the C-Band Alliance consortium which had lobbied for a sale of their frequencies on the open market. The FCC flatly rejected that proposal and decided on its own auction process which ended up in February 2021 bringing in a record $81 billion from US cellular operators.
The FCC compensated Intelsat and SES (and to a lesser extent Telesat of Canada and Eutelsat) for their frequencies.
This latest move by Intelsat’s bankruptcy court brings an end to the bitter dispute between SES and Intelsat – unless SES mounts an appeal.