Verizon Communications is to receive $1.5 billion back in cash from the Federal Communications Commission. The US regulator has ruled that it will return a portion of the downpayments it has held following the disputed spectrum auction last year.
The timely decision will be greeted with a sigh of relief from Verizon. This week the US mobile operator responded to growing pressure from ratings agencies by issuing the same amount in bonds to reduce its short-term debt.
The FCC’s move is a win for Verizon and the other auction buyers. The companies believe that following the collapse in telecoms valuations, the current market value of the wireless licenses is only half of what they paid. Operators now want the FCC to nullify the results of the disputed $16 billion auction.