Market Overview

2019: A Big Year For The FCC

2019: A Big Year For The FCC

For the Federal Communications Commission, 2018 was a year of preparation for the rollout of 5G networks. But while this year was certainly a busy one for the FCC, Height Securities analyst Chase White said Monday that 2019 will be even more action-packed.

The FCC will be dealing with additional spectrum auctions this year and could also make some market-moving rulings as well, the analyst said. 

“With the 5G infrastructure deregulation largely behind it, we believe the FCC is in a position in 2019 to take action on multiple millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum auctions and an unprecedented, market-based rebanding of the C-band,” White said.

The FCC will likely rule on Ligado Networks’ L-band proposal and the Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ: DISH) Designated Entity control issue in 2019, according to Height. 

White said the likely best-case scenario for Dish investors is that the FCC finds Dish owes nothing to the FCC beyond the $516 million it has already paid, but Dish could be on the hook for additional penalties of up to $2.6 billion in a worst-case scenario.

Finally, the analyst said he expects final approval of the Nexstar Media Group Inc (NASDAQ: NXST) and Tribune Company Common Stock (NYSE: TRCO) merger.

“In addition, we expect the FCC to take action on the controversial National Broadcast Ownership Cap, likely raising the cap from the current 39 percent and removing the UHF discount, opening the door for additional consolidation in the TV broadcaster space as station owners look to better position themselves in the quickly changing content and media landscape." 

For investors waiting on these FCC issues to play out, White said the ongoing government shutdown could potentially delay the FCC’s timeline to start the year, but the ultimate impact is unclear at this point.

Related Links:

The Best And Worst Stocks Of 2018

The DISH Network FCC Case Explained

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