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Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012

Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012 (Act) (Full Text)

Section 6403(a)(1): “The Commission shall conduct a reverse auction to determine the amount of compensation that each broadcast television licensee would accept in return for voluntarily relinquishing some or all of its broadcast television spectrum usage rights in order to make spectrum available for assignment through a system of competitive bidding.” (emphasis added).

Snider Comment: when the FCC added provisions allowing collusion as part of secret channel sharing agreements, it fatally undermined this statutory provision requiring competitive bidding.  Paradoxically, this clause requiring competitive bidding was used by members of Congress to justify no restrictions on the FCC’s ability to maximize auction receipts except those that would maximize broadcasters’ receipts.  The term “auction” itself assumes a system of competitive bidding.

Moore, Linda, Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act, Congressional Research Service, R43256, September 9, 2015.

Moore, Linda, Spectrum Policy: Provisions in the 2012 Spectrum Act, Congressional Research Service, R43256, March 12, 2014.

Rogers, David, CBO: Tax deal 10-year price tag $89B, Politico, February 17, 2012.