How Loopholes Transformed $34 Billion Dish Network Into a ‘Very Small Business’
Charles W. Ergen, the billionaire who controls the satellite-TV provider Dish Network, and his company are about to make a cool $3.25 billion - courtesy of the American taxpayer.
This windfall came from a recent successful auction of wireless spectrum that raised more than $40 billion for the American treasury. But it will be $3.25 billion less than it ought to be, if Ergen and his clever lawyers have their way.
The reason is that Dish Network bid for licenses through a newly formed vehicle that claimed to be a “very small business” under the Federal Communications Commission rules and was entitled to a 25 percent discount.
At this point you may be scratching your head. How can Dish, a company with a $34 billion market value, be a “very small business”? Indeed, to qualify for the discount, a very small business must have revenue not “exceeding $15 million for the preceding three years.” Dish in its last full fiscal year had almost $14 billion in revenue.