Advanced Television

SES vs Intelsat nears conclusion

August 1, 2023

The long-running dispute between SES and Intelsat over how the FCC’s C-band compensation payments are allocated is coming to a conclusion.

A Delaware Appeal Court in June reversed an earlier decision made by Intelsat’s Bankruptcy Court which had decided that SES’S multimillion dollar claim would not be recognised.

The Appeal Court ruled that the claim was to go back to Intelsat’s Bankruptcy Court. The ruling was made by District Judge Robert Payne on June 22nd. “The judgement of the Bankruptcy Court will be reversed,” stated Judge Payne.

The timetable for any challenge to the Appeal Court has now passed. The legal process now requires a fresh decision by Intelsat’s Bankruptcy Court.

SES has been pursuing Intelsat for a 50/50 share of the FCC’s payments (the Project Gross Proceeds). The dispute centred on the establishment in 2018 of the C-Band Alliance (CBA) and a Consortium Agreement signed in part to lobby initially for a private auction of C-band assets over the US owned by SES and Intelsat and to share the proceeds resulting from the parties giving up their spectrum rights. The FCC didn’t allow a private auction and instead carried out its own auction, with compensation going to each of the satellite operators supplying signals to the US (including Eutelsat and Telesat of Canada).

The FCC is committed to paying out at the end of this year totals of $4.865 billion to Intelsat and $3.968 billion to SES provided that the spectrum clearing is completed on time. Both parties have now filed their Phae 2 certifications which are awaiting validation by the FCC. A portion of these amounts has already been paid to Intelsat and SES following the successful completion of Phase 1 of the C-band clearance process.

Intelsat’s Bankruptcy Court is required to issue a new judgement in the light of the Appeal Court’s ruling. However, it is understood that the final ruling might still take some months to emerge.

SES will announce its first-half year results on August 3rd.

Categories: Blogs, Inside Satellite, Policy, Regulation

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