FCC Releases Public Notice Clarifying Due Diligence Review Process
On April 4, 2019, the Enforcement Bureau (“Bureau”) released a Public Notice (“Notice”) explaining and clarifying its process for the due diligence process concerning requests on pending matters that might adversely impact proposed licensee-related transactions, including assignments, transfers of control, renewals, mergers, public stock offerings, and others. This Notice clarifies the Bureau’s process going forward to review these requests in a transparent and timely manner.
In response to due diligence requests, the Bureau will confirm whether there are any pending enforcement cases, investigations, or formal or informal complaints against a particular station or company that have resulted in enforcement investigations. To avoid potential interference with the Bureau’s ongoing investigations or the inadvertent release of non-public information, the Bureau will only provide due diligence information to the licensee itself or its designated attorneys. Reponses to requests will include the nature of any pending case or the current status of the Bureau’s review.
To facilitate bona fide due diligence requests, the attorney or principal of a requesting entity should submit a letter to the Bureau requesting a due diligence review. The Bureau will not routinely handle, through the due diligence process, requests from licensees for information about themselves in connection with the preparation of renewal applications.
The Bureau can more easily respond to requests that additionally provide the following information: name of the licensee/company subject of the request; reason for the request; call sign; facility ID; community; radio service; and contact of requesting party. Due diligence requests should be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org and must include a PDF attachment containing an image of a signed letter in the form and contain the above information. The Bureau will notify parties of the result of the review by email and aim to do so within seven business days.
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