Court throws out FCC spectrum auction rules

"We are gratified that the Court recognized the merits of this case in vacating the two new rules," MMTC President David Honig told Broadcasting & Cable. "This pro-small business, pro-new entrant and pro-diversity ruling will advance wireless industry competition and ultimately benefit consumers and business alike."

The ruling will not invalidate the two auctions in question, a 2006 auction of $14 billion in Advanced Wireless Spectrum and a 2008 auction of $19 billion in 700 megahertz spectrum that was recovered from broadcasters during the transition to digital television. The court said unwinding the auctions would freeze development and jeopardize billions of dollars in additional investments.

"Moreover, the possibility of such large-scale disruption in wireless communications would have broad negative implications for the public interest in general," the court said.