Advanced Television

SES vs Intelsat C-band hearing postponed

April 22, 2024

By Chris Forrester

The long-running legal battle between SES and Intelsat over more than $400 million (€375.2m) which SES is claiming out of the sum received by Intelsat from the FCC’s compensation scheme for the reuse of C-band, has been postponed.

A hearing initially set for April 24th has now been rescheduled for July 17th.

SES is arguing that Intelsat agreed to a 50/50 split of the FCC’s overall $9 billion C-band compensation. Intelsat has hold of the cash and insists that the agreement didn’t stand once the FCC agreed to a public – and not a private – auction of the frequencies.

Intelsat’s bankruptcy court agreed with Intelsat’s arguments and ruled against SES.

SES appealed and the appeal, in front of Judge Robert Payne in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, said the bankruptcy court had erred and found in favour of SES. The District Court reversed the bankruptcy court’s decision and remanded the case back to the bankruptcy court to consider the “very strong extrinsic evidence” favouring SES’s position.

Intelsat, however, is holding firm, and says it disagrees with Judge Payne’s decision and that it did not believe that Judge Payne’s view would ultimately change the verdict.

Sources at SES say the July 17th hearing is looking at the argument on remand before the bankruptcy court, noting: “The underlying trial record and many of the arguments are the same, but the parties are now litigating with the benefit of Judge Payne’s well-reasoned decision.”

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