Goto Section: 1.947 | 1.949 | Table of Contents
Revised as of October 1, 2019
Goto Year:2018 |
§ 1.948 Assignment of authorization or transfer of control, notification of
(a) General. Except as provided in this section, authorizations in the
Wireless Radio Services may be assigned by the licensee to another
party, voluntarily or involuntarily, directly or indirectly, or the
control of a licensee holding such authorizations may be transferred,
only upon application to and approval by the Commission.
(b) Limitations on transfers and assignments. (1) A change from less
than 50% ownership to 50% or more ownership shall always be considered
a transfer of control.
(2) In other situations a controlling interest shall be determined on a
case-by-case basis considering the distribution of ownership, and the
relationships of the owners, including family relationships.
(3) Designated Entities, as defined in § 1.2110(a) of this part, must
comply with § § 1.2110 and 1.2111 of this part when seeking to assign or
transfer control of an authorization.
(4) Stations must meet all applicable requirements regarding transfers
and assignments contained in the rules pertaining to the specific
service in which the station is licensed.
(5) Licenses, permits, and authorizations for stations in the Amateur,
Commercial Operator and Personal Radio Services (except 218-219 MHz
Service) may not be assigned or transferred, unless otherwise stated.
(c) Application required. In the case of an assignment of authorization
or transfer of control, the assignor must file an application for
approval of the assignment on FCC Form 603. If the assignee or
transferee is subject to the ownership reporting requirements of
§ 1.2112, the assignee or transferee must also file an updated FCC Form
602 or certify that a current FCC Form 602 is on file.
(1) In the case of a non-substantial (pro forma) transfer or assignment
involving a telecommunications carrier, as defined in § 153(44) of the
Communications Act, filing of the Form 603 and Commission approval in
advance of the proposed transaction is not required, provided that:
(i) the affected license is not subject to unjust enrichment provisions
under subpart Q of this part;
(ii) the transfer or assignment does not involve a proxy contest; and
(iii) the transferee or assignee provides notice of the transaction by
filing FCC Form 603 within 30 days of its completion, and provides any
necessary updates of ownership information on FCC Form 602.
(2) In the case of an involuntary assignment or transfer, FCC Form 603
must be filed no later than 30 days after the event causing the
involuntary assignment or transfer.
(d) Notification of consummation. In all Wireless Radio Services,
licensees are required to notify the Commission of consummation of an
approved transfer or assignment using FCC Form 603. The assignee or
transferee is responsible for providing this notification, including
the date the transaction was consummated. For transfers and assignments
that require prior Commission approval, the transaction must be
consummated and notification provided to the Commission within 180 days
of public notice of approval, and notification of consummation must
occur no later than 30 days after actual consummation, unless a request
for an extension of time to consummate is filed on FCC Form 603 prior
to the expiration of this 180-day period. For transfers and assignments
that do not require prior Commission approval, notification of
consummation must be provided on FCC Form 603 no later than 30 days
after consummation, along with any necessary updates of ownership
information on FCC Form 602.
(e) Partial assignment of authorization. If the authorization for some,
but not all, of the facilities of a radio station in the Wireless Radio
Services is assigned to another party, voluntarily or involuntarily,
such action is a partial assignment of authorization. To request
Commission approval of a partial assignment of authorization, the
assignor must notify the Commission on FCC Form 603 of the facilities
that will be deleted from its authorization upon consummation of the
(f) Partitioning and disaggregation. Where a licensee proposes to
partition or disaggregate a portion of its authorization to another
party, the application will be treated as a request for partial
assignment of authorization. The assignor must notify the Commission on
FCC Form 603 of the geographic area or spectrum that will be deleted
from its authorization upon consummation of the assignment.
(g) Involuntary transfer and assignment. In the event of the death or
legal disability of a permittee or licensee, a member of a partnership,
or a person directly or indirectly in control of a corporation which is
a permittee or licensee, the Commission shall be notified promptly of
the occurrence of such death or legal disability. Within 30 days after
the occurrence of such death or legal disability (except in the case of
a ship or amateur station), an application shall be filed for consent
to involuntary assignment of such permit or license, or for involuntary
transfer of control of such corporation, to a person or entity legally
qualified to succeed to the foregoing interests under the laws of the
place having jurisdiction over the estate involved. The procedures and
forms to be used are the same procedures and forms as those specified
in paragraph (b) of this section. In the case of Ship, aircraft,
Commercial Operator, Amateur, and Personal Radio Services (except for
218-219 MHz Service) involuntary assignment of licenses will not be
granted; such licenses shall be surrendered for cancellation upon the
death or legal disability of the licensee. Amateur station call signs
assigned to the station of a deceased licensee shall be available for
reassignment pursuant to § 97.19 of this chapter.
(h) Disclosure requirements. Applicants for transfer or assignment of
licenses in auctionable services must comply with the disclosure
requirements of § § 1.2111 and 1.2112 of this part.
(i) Trafficking. Applications for approval of assignment or transfer
may be reviewed by the Commission to determine if the transaction is
for purposes of trafficking in service authorizations.
(1) Trafficking consists of obtaining or attempting to obtain an
authorization for the principal purpose of speculation or profitable
resale of the authorization rather than for the provision of
telecommunication services to the public or for the licensee's own
(2) The Commission may require submission of an affirmative, factual
showing, supported by affidavit of persons with personal knowledge
thereof, to demonstrate that the assignor did not acquire the
authorization for the principal purpose of speculation or profitable
resale of the authorization. This showing may include, for example, a
demonstration that the proposed assignment is due to changed
circumstances (described in detail) affecting the licensee after the
grant of the authorization, or that the proposed assignment is
incidental to a sale of other facilities or a merger of interests.
(j) Processing of applications. Applications for assignment of
authorization or transfer of control relating to the Wireless Radio
Services will be processed pursuant either to general approval
procedures or the immediate approval procedures, as discussed herein.
(1) General approval procedures. Applications will be processed
pursuant to the general approval procedures set forth in this paragraph
unless they are submitted and qualify for the immediate approval
procedures set forth in paragraph (j)(2) of this section.
(i) To be accepted for filing under these general approval procedures,
the application must be sufficiently complete and contain all necessary
information and certifications requested on the applicable form, FCC
Form 603, including any information and certifications (including those
of the proposed assignee or transferee relating to eligibility, basic
qualifications, and foreign ownership) required by the rules of this
chapter and any rules pertaining to the specific service for which the
application is filed, and must include payment of the required
application fee(s) (see § 1.1102).
(ii) Once accepted for filing, the application will be placed on public
notice, except no prior public notice will be required for applications
involving authorizations in the Private Wireless Services, as specified
in § 1.933(d)(9).
(iii) Petitions to deny filed in accordance with section 309(d) of the
Communications Act must comply with the provisions of § 1.939, except
that such petitions must be filed no later than 14 days following the
date of the public notice listing the application as accepted for
(iv) No later than 21 days following the date of the public notice
listing an application as accepted for filing, the Wireless
Telecommunications Bureau (Bureau) will affirmatively consent to the
application, deny the application, or determine to subject the
application to further review. For applications for which no prior
public notice is required, the Bureau will affirmatively consent to the
application, deny the application, or determine to subject the
application to further review no later than 21 days following the date
on which the application has been filed, if filed electronically, and
any required application fee has been paid (see § 1.1102); if filed
manually, the Bureau will affirmatively consent to the application,
deny the application, or determine to subject the application to
further review no later than 21 days after the necessary data in the
manually filed application is entered into ULS.
(v) If the Bureau determines to subject the application to further
review, it will issue a public notice so indicating. Within 90 days
following the date of that public notice, the Bureau will either take
action upon the application or provide public notice that an additional
90-day period for review is needed.
(vi) Consent to the application is not deemed granted until the Bureau
affirmatively acts upon the application.
(vii) Grant of consent to the application will be reflected in a public
notice (see § 1.933(a)) promptly issued after the grant.
(viii) If any petition to deny is filed, and the Bureau grants the
application, the Bureau will deny the petition(s) and issue a concise
statement of the reason(s) for denial, disposing of all substantive
issues raised in the petition(s).
(2) Immediate approval procedures. Applications that meet the
requirements of paragraph (j)(2)(i) of this section qualify for the
immediate approval procedures.
(i) To qualify for the immediate approval procedures, the application
must be sufficiently complete, contain all necessary information and
certifications (including those relating to eligibility, basic
qualifications, and foreign ownership), and include payment of the
requisite application fee(s), as required for an application processed
under the general approval procedures set forth in paragraph (j)(1) of
this section, and also must establish, through certifications, that the
following additional qualifications are met:
(A) The license does not involve spectrum licensed in a Wireless Radio
Service that may be used to provide interconnected mobile voice and/or
data services under the applicable service rules and that would, if
assigned or transferred, create a geographic overlap with spectrum in
any licensed Wireless Radio Service (including the same service) in
which the proposed assignee or transferee already holds a direct or
indirect interest of 10% or more (see § 1.2112), either as a licensee or
a spectrum lessee, and that could be used by the assignee or transferee
to provide interconnected mobile voice and/or data services;
(B) The licensee is not a designated entity or entrepreneur subject to
unjust enrichment requirements and/or transfer restrictions under
applicable Commission rules (see § § 1.2110 and 1.2111, and § § 24.709,
24.714, and 24.839 of this chapter); and,
(C) The assignment or transfer of control does not require a waiver of,
or declaratory ruling pertaining to, any applicable Commission rules,
and there is no pending issue as to whether the license is subject to
revocation, cancellation, or termination by the Commission.
(ii) Provided that the application establishes that it meets all of the
requisite elements to qualify for these immediate approval procedures,
consent to the assignment or transfer of control will be reflected in
ULS. If the application is filed electronically, consent will be
reflected in ULS on the next business day after the filing of the
application; if filed manually, consent will be reflected in ULS on the
next business day after the necessary data in the manually filed
application is entered into ULS. Consent to the application is not
deemed granted until the Bureau affirmatively acts upon the
(iii) Grant of consent to the application under these immediate
approval procedures will be reflected in a public notice (see
§ 1.933(a)) promptly issued after the grant, and is subject to
reconsideration (see § § 1.106(f), 1.108, 1.113).
[ 63 FR 68933 , Dec. 14, 1998, as amended at 64 FR 62120 , Nov. 16, 1999;
68 FR 42995 , July 21, 2003; 68 FR 66276 , Nov. 25, 2003; 69 FR 77549 ,
Dec. 27, 2004; 69 FR 77944 , Dec. 29, 2004; 76 FR 17349 , Mar. 29, 2011;
81 FR 90745 , Dec. 15, 2015]
Effective Date Note: At 69 FR 77549 , Dec. 27, 2004, § 1.948(j)(2) was
revised. This paragraph contains information collection and
recordkeeping requirements and will not become effective until approval
has been given by the Office of Management and Budget.
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