Bloomberg News

Falcone, LightSquared Decline Senator’s Request for Records

October 20, 2011

(Updates with comment from Grassley’s office.)

Oct. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Philip Falcone and his LightSquared wireless venture declined to provide documents about contacts with the White House and U.S. regulators sought by a Republican senator, according to a letter released by the lawmaker.

Senator Charles Grassley hasn’t made similar requests of LightSquared critics, and therefore Falcone and LightSquared “decline to agree to your request for documents at this time,” Mark Paoletta, a Washington-based lawyer with Dickstein Shapiro LLP, said in an Oct. 19 letter distributed today by the Iowa Republican.

LightSquared, backed by $3 billion from Falcone’s Harbinger Capital Partners hedge fund, wants to offer wholesale service through a network of base stations using airwaves previously reserved mainly for satellites. Makers and users of global- positioning system devices say LightSquared’s signals will disrupt navigation by planes, boats, tractors and automobiles.

Grassley will ask LightSquared critics Deere & Co., Garmin Ltd. and Trimble Navigation Ltd., all named by Paoletta, for documents about their contacts with government officials if LightSquared and Harbinger first respond to the senator’s Oct. 5 request, Jill Gerber, a spokeswoman for the senator, said in an e-mail. Grassley is the senior Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

U.S. regulators are deciding how to handle complaints by the military and the GPS industry about possible interference from LightSquared.

--Editors: Michael Shepard, Bernard Kohn

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at tshields3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at mshepard7@bloomberg.net


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