Assignments/Transfers of Control

Any sale of a license or change in ownership of a licensed entity requires the filing of an assignment or transfer of control application with the FCC. Conducting these types of filings is a lengthy and time consuming process, as there are multiple stages to the application process before final grant. Also, asset purchases incorporating the assignment of licenses usually provide for certain time requirements for the assignment, as well as representations and warranties. The failure of a party to conduct a proper assignment or transfer can lead to an array of problems not only before the FCC, but also in contract. An improper assignment can undermine an asset sale and potentially subject a party to litigation for breach of contract. Also, many of the uninitiated mistakenly believe that no further action is required once an assignment is consented to by the FCC; and we have been witness to the FCC canceling licenses for a party failing to file a simple consummation notice. Without the filing of a consummation notice and subsequent FCC grant, an assignee who begins operating under the parameters of the alleged assigned license may find itself subjected to an enforcement action for unauthorized operation. This is just one example of the problems that can result from faulty assignments. Our firm's years of experience in assignments and transfers of control provide us with the knowledge to avoid those small, careless errors that might lead to rather huge ramifications.