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Rule

Review of Foreign Ownership Policies for Broadcast, Common Carrier and Aeronautical Radio Licensees

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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AGENCY:

Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION:

Final rule; technical amendment.

SUMMARY:

The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) published a document revising Commission rules applicable to foreign ownership of broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed radio station licensees. Due to an error in the effective date language, the Commission's rules were prematurely removed from the CFR. This technical amendment restores these rules to the CFR.

DATES:

This technical amendment is effective March 6, 2017.

Start Further Info

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Kimberly Cook or Francis Gutierrez, Telecommunications and Analysis Division, International Bureau, FCC, (202) 418-1460 or via email to Kimberly.Cook@fcc.gov, Francis.Gutierrez@fcc.gov.

End Further Info End Preamble Start Supplemental Information

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

The Federal Communications Commission (Commission) published a document in the Federal Register on December 1, 2016 (81 FR 86586) revising Commission rules applicable to foreign ownership of broadcast, common carrier, aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed radio station licensees. Due to an inadvertent Commission error in the effective date language in the preamble of the document, the Commission's rules applicable to foreign ownership of common carrier, aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed radio station licensees (47 CFR 1.990-1.994) were prematurely removed from the CFR effective January 30, 2017. This technical amendment restores these rules to the CFR. Upon approval of information collection requirements by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), the Commission will publish a separate document in the Federal Register to remove 47 CFR 1.990 through 1.994 and announce the effective date of amendments to 47 CFR 1.5000 through 1.5004, 25.105, 73.1010 and 74.5.

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List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 1

  • Communications common carriers
  • Radio
  • Reporting and recordkeeping requirements
  • Satellites
  • Telecommunications
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Federal Communications Commission.

Marlene H. Dortch,

Secretary.

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For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal Communications Commission amends 47 CFR part 1 as follows:

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PART 1—PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

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1. The authority citation for part 1 continues to read as follows:

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Authority: 15 U.S.C. 79, et seq.; 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 154(j), 155, 157, 160, 201, 225, 227, 303, 309, 310, 332, 1403, 1404, 1451, 1452, and 1455.

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2. In subpart F, add an undesignated center heading and §§ 1.990 through 1.994 to read as follows:

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Foreign Ownership of Common Carrier, Aeronautical en Route, and Aeronautical Fixed Radio Station Licensees

Citizenship and filing requirements under the Communications Act of 1934.

These rules establish the requirements and conditions for obtaining the Commission's prior approval of foreign ownership in common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station licensees and common carrier spectrum lessees that would exceed the 25 percent benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended (47 U.S.C. 310(b)(4)). These rules also establish the requirements and conditions for obtaining the Commission's prior approval of foreign ownership in common carrier (but not aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed) radio station licensees and spectrum lessees that would exceed the 20 percent limit in section 310(b)(3) of the Act (47 U.S.C. 310(b)(3)).

(a)(1) A common carrier, aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed radio station licensee or common carrier spectrum lessee shall file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain Commission approval under section 310(b)(4) of the Act, and obtain such approval, before the aggregate foreign ownership of any controlling, U.S.-organized parent company exceeds, directly and/or indirectly, 25 percent of the U.S. parent's equity interests and/or 25 percent of its voting interests. An applicant for a common carrier, aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed radio station license or common carrier spectrum leasing arrangement shall file the petition for declaratory ruling required by this paragraph at the same time that it files its application.

Note to paragraph (a)(1):

Paragraph (a)(1) of this section implements the Commission's foreign ownership policies under section 310(b)(4) of the Act (47 U.S.C. 310(b)(4)), for common carrier, aeronautical en route, and aeronautical fixed radio station licensees and common carrier spectrum lessees. It applies to foreign equity and/or voting interests that are held, or would be held, directly and/or indirectly in a U.S.-organized entity that itself directly or indirectly controls a common carrier, aeronautical en route, or aeronautical fixed radio station licensee or common carrier spectrum lessee. A foreign individual or entity that seeks to hold a controlling interest in such a licensee or spectrum lessee must hold its controlling interest indirectly, in a U.S.-organized entity that itself directly or indirectly controls the Start Printed Page 12513licensee or spectrum lessee. Such controlling interests are subject to section 310(b)(4) and the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section. The Commission assesses foreign ownership interests subject to section 310(b)(4) separately from foreign ownership interests subject to section 310(b)(3).

(2) A common carrier radio station licensee or spectrum lessee shall file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain approval under the Commission's section 310(b)(3) forbearance approach, and obtain such approval, before aggregate foreign ownership, held through one or more intervening U.S.-organized entities that hold non-controlling equity and/or voting interests in the licensee, along with any foreign interests held directly in the licensee or spectrum lessee, exceeds 20 percent of its equity interests and/or 20 percent of its voting interests. An applicant for a common carrier radio station license or spectrum leasing arrangement shall file the petition for declaratory ruling required by this paragraph at the same time that it files its application. Foreign interests held directly in a licensee or spectrum lessee, or other than through U.S.-organized entities that hold non-controlling equity and/or voting interests in the licensee or spectrum lessee, shall not be permitted to exceed 20 percent.

Note to paragraph (a)(2):

Paragraph (a)(2) of this section implements the Commission's section 310(b)(3) forbearance approach adopted in the First Report and Order in IB Docket No. 11-133, FCC 12-93 (released August 17, 2012), 77 FR 50628 (Aug. 22, 2012). The section 310(b)(3) forbearance approach applies only to foreign equity and voting interests that are held, or would be held, in a common carrier licensee or spectrum lessee through one or more intervening U.S.-organized entities that do not control the licensee or spectrum lessee. Foreign equity and/or voting interests that are held, or would be held, directly in a licensee or spectrum lessee, or indirectly other than through an intervening U.S.-organized entity, are not subject to the Commission's section 310(b)(3) forbearance approach and shall not be permitted to exceed the 20 percent limit in section 310(b)(3) of the Act (47 U.S.C. 310(b)(3)).

Example 1. U.S.-organized Corporation A is preparing an application to acquire a common carrier radio license by assignment from another licensee. U.S.-organized Corporation A is wholly owned and controlled by U.S.-organized Corporation B. U.S.-organized Corporation B is 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S.-organized Corporation C, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by foreign-organized Corporation D. The remaining non-controlling 49 percent equity and voting interests in U.S.-organized Corporation B are held by U.S.-organized Corporation X, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by U.S. citizens. Paragraph (a)(1) of this section requires that U.S.-organized Corporation A file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain Commission approval of the 51 percent foreign ownership of its controlling, U.S.-organized parent, Corporation B, by foreign-organized Corporation D, which exceeds the 25 percent benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Act for both equity interests and voting interests. Corporation A is also required to identify and request specific approval in its petition for any foreign individual or entity, or “group,” as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, that holds directly and/or indirectly more than five percent of Corporation B's total outstanding capital stock (equity) and/or voting stock, or a controlling interest in Corporation B, unless the foreign investment is exempt under § 1.991(i)(3).

Example 2. U.S.-organized Corporation A is preparing an application to acquire a common carrier radio license by assignment from another licensee. U.S.-organized Corporation A is 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S.-organized Corporation B, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by U.S. citizens. The remaining non-controlling 49 percent equity and voting interests in U.S.-organized Corporation A are held by U.S.-organized Corporation X, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by foreign-organized Corporation Y. Paragraph (a)(2) of this section requires that U.S.-organized Corporation A file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain Commission approval of the non-controlling 49 percent foreign ownership of U.S.-organized Corporation A by foreign-organized Corporation Y through U.S.-organized Corporation X, which exceeds the 20 percent limit in section 310(b)(3) of the Act for both equity interests and voting interests. U.S.-organized Corporation A is also required to identify and request specific approval in its petition for any foreign individual or entity, or “group,” as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, that holds an equity and/or voting interest in foreign-organized Corporation Y that, when multiplied by 49 percent, would exceed five percent of U.S.-organized Corporation A's equity and/or voting interests, unless the foreign investment is exempt under § 1.991(i)(3).

Example 3. U.S.-organized Corporation A is preparing an application to acquire a common carrier radio license by assignment from another licensee. U.S.-organized Corporation A is 51 percent owned and controlled by U.S.-organized Corporation B, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by foreign-organized Corporation C. The remaining non-controlling 49 percent equity and voting interests in U.S.-organized Corporation A are held by U.S.-organized Corporation X, which is, in turn, wholly owned and controlled by foreign-organized Corporation Y. Paragraphs (a)(1) and (2) of this section require that U.S.-organized Corporation A file a petition for declaratory ruling to obtain Commission approval of foreign-organized Corporation C's 100 percent ownership interest in U.S.-organized parent, Corporation B, and of foreign-organized Corporation Y's non-controlling, 49 percent foreign ownership interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A through U.S-organized Corporation X, which exceed the 25 percent benchmark and 20 percent limit in sections 310(b)(4) and 310(b)(3) of the Act, respectively, for both equity interests and voting interests. U.S-organized Corporation A's petition also must identify and request specific approval for ownership interests held by any foreign individual, entity, or “group,” as defined in paragraph (d) of this section, to the extent required by § 1.991(i).

(b) The petition for declaratory ruling required by paragraph (a) of this section shall be filed electronically on the Internet through the International Bureau Filing System (IBFS). For information on filing your petition through IBFS, see subpart Y of this part and the IBFS homepage at http://www.fcc.gov/​ib.

(c)(1) Each applicant, licensee, or spectrum lessee filing a petition for declaratory ruling required by paragraph (a) of this section shall certify to the information contained in the petition in accordance with the provisions of § 1.16 and the requirements of this paragraph. The certification shall include a statement that the applicant, licensee and/or spectrum lessee has calculated the ownership interests disclosed in its petition based upon its review of the Commission's rules and that the interests disclosed satisfy each of the pertinent standards and criteria set forth in the rules.

(2) Multiple applicants and/or licensees shall file jointly the petition for declaratory ruling required by paragraph (a) of this section where the entities are under common control and contemporaneously hold, or are contemporaneously filing applications for, common carrier licenses, common carrier spectrum leasing arrangements, or aeronautical en route or aeronautical fixed radio station licenses. Where joint petitioners have different responses to the information required by § 1.991, such information should be set out separately for each joint petitioner, except as otherwise permitted in § 1.991(h)(2).

(i) Each joint petitioner shall certify to the information contained in the petition in accordance with the provisions of § 1.16 with respect to the information that is pertinent to that petitioner. Alternatively, the controlling parent of the joint petitioners may certify to the information contained in the petition.

(ii) Where the petition is being filed in connection with an application for consent to transfer control of licenses or spectrum leasing arrangements, the transferee or its ultimate controlling parent may file the petition on behalf of the licensees or spectrum lessees that would be acquired as a result of the Start Printed Page 12514proposed transfer of control and certify to the information contained in the petition.

(3) Multiple applicants and licensees shall not be permitted to file a petition for declaratory ruling jointly unless they are under common control.

(d) The following definitions shall apply to this section and §§ 1.991 through 1.994.

(1) Aeronautical radio licenses refers to aeronautical en route and aeronautical fixed radio station licenses only. It does not refer to other types of aeronautical radio station licenses.

(2) Affiliate refers to any entity that is under common control with a licensee, defined by reference to the holder, directly and/or indirectly, of more than 50 percent of total voting power, where no other individual or entity has de facto control.

(3) Control includes actual working control in whatever manner exercised and is not limited to majority stock ownership. Control also includes direct or indirect control, such as through intervening subsidiaries.

(4) Entity includes a partnership, association, estate, trust, corporation, limited liability company, governmental authority or other organization.

(5) Group refers to two or more individuals or entities that have agreed to act together for the purpose of acquiring, holding, voting, or disposing of their equity and/or voting interests in the relevant licensee, controlling U.S. parent, or entity holding a direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the licensee or U.S. parent.

(6) Individual refers to a natural person as distinguished from a partnership, association, corporation, or other organization.

(7) Licensee as used in §§ 1.990 through 1.994 of this part includes a spectrum lessee as defined in § 1.9003.

(8) Privately held company refers to a U.S.- or foreign-organized company that has not issued a class of equity securities for which beneficial ownership reporting is required by security holders and other beneficial owners under section 13(d) or 13(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq. (Exchange Act), and corresponding Exchange Act Rule 13d-1, 17 CFR 240.13d-1, or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation.

(9) Public company refers to a U.S.- or foreign-organized company that has issued a class of equity securities for which beneficial ownership reporting is required by security holders and other beneficial owners under section 13(d) or 13(g) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, 15 U.S.C. 78a et seq. (Exchange Act) and corresponding Exchange Act Rule 13d-1, 17 CFR 240.13d-1, or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation.

(10) Subsidiary refers to any entity in which a licensee owns or controls, directly and/or indirectly, more than 50 percent of the total voting power of the outstanding voting stock of the entity, where no other individual or entity has de facto control.

(11) Voting stock refers to an entity's corporate stock, partnership or membership interests, or other equivalents of corporate stock that, under ordinary circumstances, entitles the holders thereof to elect the entity's board of directors, management committee, or other equivalent of a corporate board of directors.

(12) Would hold as used in §§ 1.990 through 1.994 includes equity and/or voting interests that an individual or entity proposes to hold in an applicant, licensee, or spectrum lessee, or their controlling U.S. parent, upon consummation of any transactions described in the petition for declaratory ruling filed under paragraph (a)(1) or (2) of this section.

Contents of petitions for declaratory ruling under the Communications Act of 1934.

The petition for declaratory ruling required by § 1.990(a)(1) and/or § 1.990(a)(2) shall contain the following information:

(a) With respect to each petitioning applicant or licensee, provide its name; FCC Registration Number (FRN); mailing address; place of organization; telephone number; facsimile number (if available); electronic mail address (if available); type of business organization (e.g., corporation, unincorporated association, trust, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust, other (include description of legal entity)); name and title of officer certifying to the information contained in the petition.

(b) If the petitioning applicant or licensee is represented by a third party (e.g., legal counsel), specify that individual's name, the name of the firm or company, mailing address and telephone number/electronic mail address.

(c)(1) For each named licensee, list the type(s) of radio service authorized (e.g., cellular radio telephone service; microwave radio service; mobile satellite service; aeronautical fixed service).

(2) If the petition is filed in connection with an application for a radio station license or a spectrum leasing arrangement, or an application to acquire a license or spectrum leasing arrangement by assignment or transfer of control, specify for each named applicant:

(i) The File No(s). of the associated application(s), if available at the time the petition is filed; otherwise, specify the anticipated filing date for each application; and

(ii) The type(s) of radio services covered by each application (e.g., cellular radio telephone service; microwave radio service; mobile satellite service; aeronautical fixed service).

(d) With respect to each petitioner, include a statement as to whether the petitioner is requesting a declaratory ruling under § 1.990(a)(1) and/or § 1.990(a)(2).

(e)(1) Direct U.S. or foreign interests of ten percent or more or a controlling interest. With respect to petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1), provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning common carrier or aeronautical radio station applicant(s) or licensee(s) as specified in paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (e)(4)(iv) of this section.

(2) Direct U.S. or foreign interests of ten percent or more or a controlling interest. With respect to petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2), provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in each petitioning common carrier applicant or licensee as specified in paragraphs (e)(1)(i) through (e)(4)(ii) of this section.

(3) Where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1)) or in the applicant or licensee (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2)), the petition shall state that no individual or entity holds or would hold directly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the U.S. parent, applicant or licensee.

(4)(i) Where a named U.S. parent, applicant, or licensee is organized as a corporation, provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, 10 percent or more of the outstanding capital stock and/or voting stock, or a controlling interest.

(ii) Where a named U.S. parent, applicant, or licensee is organized as a general partnership, provide the names Start Printed Page 12515of the partnership's constituent general partners.

(iii) Where a named U.S. parent, applicant, or licensee is organized as a limited partnership or limited liability partnership, provide the name(s) of the general partner(s) (in the case of a limited partnership), any uninsulated partner(s), and any insulated partner(s) with an equity interest in the partnership of at least 10 percent (calculated according to the percentage of the partner's capital contribution). With respect to each named partner (other than a named general partner), the petitioner shall state whether the partnership interest is insulated or uninsulated, based on the insulation criteria specified in § 1.993.

(iv) Where a named U.S. parent, applicant, or licensee is organized as a limited liability company, provide the name(s) of each uninsulated member, regardless of its equity interest, any insulated member with an equity interest of at least 10 percent (calculated according to the percentage of its capital contribution), and any non-equity manager(s). With respect to each named member, the petitioner shall state whether the interest is insulated or uninsulated, based on the insulation criteria specified in § 1.993, and whether the member is a manager.

Note to paragraph (e):

The Commission presumes that a general partner of a general partnership or limited partnership has a controlling interest in the partnership. A general partner shall in all cases be deemed to hold an uninsulated interest in the partnership.

(f)(1) Indirect U.S. or foreign interests of ten percent or more or a controlling interest. With respect to petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1), provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, indirectly, through one or more intervening entities, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning common carrier or aeronautical radio station applicant(s) or licensee(s). Equity interests and voting interests held indirectly shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in § 1.992.

(2) Indirect U.S. or foreign interests of ten percent or more or a controlling interest. With respect to petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2), provide the name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, indirectly, through one or more intervening entities, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the petitioning common carrier radio station applicant(s) or licensee(s). Equity interests and voting interests held indirectly shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in § 1.992.

(3) Where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, indirectly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1)) or in the petitioning applicant(s) or licensee(s) (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2)), the petition shall specify that no individual or entity holds indirectly 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the U.S. parent, applicant(s), or licensee(s).

Note to paragraph (f):

The Commission presumes that a general partner of a general partnership or limited partnership has a controlling interest in the partnership. A general partner shall in all cases be deemed to hold an uninsulated interest in the partnership.

(g) For each 10 percent interest holder named in response to paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section, specify the equity interest held and the voting interest held (each to the nearest one percent); in the case of an individual, his or her citizenship; and in the case of a business organization, its place of organization, type of business organization (e.g., corporation, unincorporated association, trust, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust, other (include description of legal entity)), and principal business(es).

(h)(1) Estimate of aggregate foreign ownership. For petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1), attach an exhibit that provides a percentage estimate of the controlling U.S. parent's aggregate direct and/or indirect foreign equity interests and its aggregate direct and/or indirect foreign voting interests. For petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2), attach an exhibit that provides a percentage estimate of the aggregate foreign equity interests and aggregate foreign voting interests held directly in the petitioning applicant(s) and/or licensee(s), if any, and the aggregate foreign equity interests and aggregate foreign voting interests held indirectly in the petitioning applicant(s) and/or licensee(s). The exhibit required by this paragraph must also provide a general description of the methods used to determine the percentages; and a statement addressing the circumstances that prompted the filing of the petition and demonstrating that the public interest would be served by grant of the petition.

(2) Ownership and control structure. Attach an exhibit that describes the ownership and control structure of the applicant(s) and/or licensee(s) that are the subject of the petition, including an ownership diagram and identification of the real party-in-interest disclosed in any companion applications. The ownership diagram should illustrate the petitioner's vertical ownership structure, including the controlling U.S. parent named in the petition (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1)) and the direct and indirect ownership (equity and voting) interests held by the individual(s) and/or entity(ies) named in response to paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section. Each such individual or entity shall be depicted in the ownership diagram and all controlling interests labeled as such. Where the petition includes multiple petitioners, the ownership of all petitioners may be depicted in a single ownership diagram or in multiple diagrams.

(i) Requests for specific approval. Provide, as required or permitted by this paragraph, the name of each foreign individual and/or entity for which each petitioner requests specific approval, if any, and the respective percentages of equity and/or voting interests (to the nearest one percent) that each such foreign individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, in the controlling U.S. parent of the petitioning common carrier or aeronautical radio station applicant(s) or licensee(s) for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1), and in each petitioning common carrier applicant or licensee for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2).

(1) Each petitioning common carrier or aeronautical radio station applicant or licensee filing under § 1.990(a)(1) shall identify and request specific approval for any foreign individual, entity, or group of such individuals or entities that holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, more than 5 percent of the equity and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the petitioner's controlling U.S. parent unless the foreign investment is exempt under paragraph (i)(3) of this section. Equity and voting interests shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section and in § 1.992.

(2) Each petitioning common carrier radio station applicant or licensee filing under § 1.990(a)(2) shall identify and request specific approval for any foreign individual, entity, or group of such individuals or entities that holds, or would hold, directly, and/or indirectly through one or more intervening U.S.-organized entities that do not control the applicant or licensee, more than 5 percent of the equity and/or voting interests in the applicant or licensee unless the foreign investment is exempt Start Printed Page 12516under paragraph (i)(3) of this section. Equity and voting interests shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in paragraphs (e) and (f) of this section and in § 1.992.

Note to paragraphs (i)(1) and (2):

Two or more individuals or entities will be treated as a “group” when they have agreed to act together for the purpose of acquiring, holding, voting, or disposing of their equity and/or voting interests in the licensee and/or controlling U.S. parent of the licensee or in any intermediate company(ies) through which any of the individuals or entities holds its interests in the licensee and/or controlling U.S. parent of the licensee.

(3) A foreign investment is exempt from the specific approval requirements of paragraphs (i)(1) and (2) of this section where:

(i) The foreign individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, no more than 10 percent of the equity and/or voting interests of the U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1)) or the petitioning applicant or licensee (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2)); and

(ii) The foreign individual or entity does not hold, and would not hold, a controlling interest in the petitioner or any controlling parent company, does not plan or intend to change or influence control of the petitioner or any controlling parent company, does not possess or develop any such purpose, and does not take any action having such purpose or effect. The Commission will presume, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, that the following interests satisfy this criterion for exemption from the specific approval requirements in paragraphs (i)(1) and (2) of this section:

(A) Where the relevant licensee, controlling U.S. parent, or entity holding a direct or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the licensee or U.S. parent is a “public company,” as defined in § 1.990(d)(9), provided that the foreign holder is an institutional investor that is eligible to report its beneficial ownership interests in the company's voting, equity securities in excess of 5 percent (not to exceed 10 percent) pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(b), 17 CFR 240.13d-1(b), or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation. This presumption shall not apply if the foreign individual, entity or group holding such interests is obligated to report its holdings in the company pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(a), 17 CFR 240.13d-1(a), or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation.

Example.

Common carrier applicant (“Applicant”) is preparing a petition for declaratory ruling to request Commission approval for foreign ownership of its controlling, U.S.-organized parent (“U.S. Parent”) to exceed the 25 percent benchmark in section 310(b)(4) of the Act. Applicant does not currently hold any FCC licenses. Shares of U.S. Parent trade publicly on the New York Stock Exchange. Based on a shareholder survey and a review of its shareholder records, U.S. Parent has determined that its aggregate foreign ownership on any given day may exceed an aggregate 25 percent, including a six percent common stock interest held by a foreign-organized mutual fund (“Foreign Fund”). U.S. Parent has confirmed that Foreign Fund is not currently required to report its interest pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(a) and instead is eligible to report its interest pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(b). U.S. Parent also has confirmed that Foreign Fund does not hold any other interests in U.S. Parent's equity securities, whether of a class of voting or non-voting securities. Applicant may, but is not required to, request specific approval of Foreign Fund's six percent interest in U.S. Parent.

Note to paragraph (i)(3)(ii)(A):

Where an institutional investor holds voting, equity securities that are subject to reporting under Exchange Act Rule 13d-1, 17 CFR 240.13d-1, or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation, and equity securities that are not subject to such reporting the investor's total capital stock interests may be aggregated and treated as exempt from the 5 percent specific approval requirement in paragraphs (i)(1) and (2) of this section so long as the aggregate amount of the institutional investor's holdings does not exceed ten percent of the company's total capital stock or voting rights and the investor is eligible to certify under Exchange Act Rule 13d-1(b), 17 CFR 240.13d-1(b), or a substantially comparable foreign law or regulation that it has acquired its capital stock interests in the ordinary course of business and not with the purpose nor with the effect of changing or influencing the control of the company. In calculating foreign equity and voting interests, the Commission does not consider convertible interests such as options, warrants and convertible debentures until converted, unless specifically requested by the petitioner, i.e., where the petitioner is requesting approval so those rights can be exercised in a particular case without further Commission approval.

(B) Where the relevant licensee, controlling U.S. parent, or entity holding a direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the licensee or U.S. parent is a “privately held” corporation, as defined in § 1.990(d)(8), provided that a shareholders' agreement, or similar voting agreement, prohibits the foreign holder from becoming actively involved in the management or operation of the corporation and limits the foreign holder's voting and consent rights, if any, to the minority shareholder protections listed in paragraph (i)(5) of this section.

(C) Where the relevant licensee, controlling U.S. parent, or entity holding a direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the licensee or U.S. parent is “privately held,” as defined in § 1.990(d)(8), and is organized as a limited partnership, limited liability company (“LLC”), or limited liability partnership (“LLP”), provided that the foreign holder is “insulated” in accordance with the criteria specified in § 1.993.

(4) A petitioner may, but is not required to, request specific approval for any other foreign individual or entity that holds, or would hold, a direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interest in the controlling U.S. parent (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1)) or in the petitioning applicant or licensee (for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2)).

(5) The minority shareholder protections referenced in paragraph (i)(3)(ii)(B) of this section consist of the following rights:

(i) The power to prevent the sale or pledge of all or substantially all of the assets of the corporation or a voluntary filing for bankruptcy or liquidation;

(ii) The power to prevent the corporation from entering into contracts with majority shareholders or their affiliates;

(iii) The power to prevent the corporation from guaranteeing the obligations of majority shareholders or their affiliates;

(iv) The power to purchase an additional interest in the corporation to prevent the dilution of the shareholder's pro rata interest in the event that the corporation issues additional instruments conveying shares in the company;

(v) The power to prevent the change of existing legal rights or preferences of the shareholders, as provided in the charter, by-laws or other operative governance documents;

(vi) The power to prevent the amendment of the charter, by-laws or other operative governance documents of the company with respect to the matters described in paragraphs (i)(5)(i) through (v) of this section.

(6) The Commission reserves the right to consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether voting or consent rights over matters other than those listed in paragraph (i)(5) of this section shall be considered permissible minority shareholder protections in a particular case.

(j) For each foreign individual or entity named in response to paragraph (i) of this section, provide the following information:Start Printed Page 12517

(1) In the case of an individual, his or her citizenship and principal business(es);

(2) In the case of a business organization:

(i) Its place of organization, type of business organization (e.g., corporation, unincorporated association, trust, general partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, trust, other (include description of legal entity)), and principal business(es);

(ii) The name of any individual or entity that holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, through one or more intervening entities, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the foreign entity for which the petitioner requests specific approval. Specify for each such interest holder, his or her citizenship (for individuals) or place of legal organization (for entities). Equity interests and voting interests held indirectly shall be calculated in accordance with the principles set forth in § 1.992.

(iii) Where no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, the petition shall specify that no individual or entity holds, or would hold, directly and/or indirectly, 10 percent or more of the equity interests and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, in the foreign entity for which the petitioner requests specific approval.

(k) Requests for advance approval. The petitioner may, but is not required to, request advance approval in its petition for any foreign individual or entity named in response to paragraph (i) of this section to increase its direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interests in the controlling U.S. parent of the common carrier or aeronautical radio station licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1), and/or in the common carrier licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2), above the percentages specified in response to paragraph (i) of this section. Requests for advance approval shall be made as follows:

(1) Petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1). Where a foreign individual or entity named in response to paragraph (i) of this section holds, or would hold upon consummation of any transactions described in the petition, a de jure or de facto controlling interest in the controlling U.S. parent, the petitioner may request advance approval in its petition for the foreign individual or entity to increase its interests, at some future time, up to any amount, including 100 percent of the direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interests in the U.S. parent. The petitioner shall specify for the named controlling foreign individual(s) or entity(ies) the maximum percentages of equity and/or voting interests for which advance approval is sought or, in lieu of a specific amount, state that the petitioner requests advance approval for the named controlling foreign individual or entity to increase its interests up to and including 100 percent of the U.S. parent's direct and/or indirect equity and/or voting interests.

(2) Petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1) and/or § 1.990(a)(2). Where a foreign individual or entity named in response to paragraph (i) of this section holds, or would hold upon consummation of any transactions described in the petition, a non-controlling interest in the controlling U.S. parent of the licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1), or in the licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2), the petitioner may request advance approval in its petition for the foreign individual or entity to increase its interests, at some future time, up to any non-controlling amount not to exceed 49.99 percent. The petitioner shall specify for the named foreign individual(s) or entity(ies) the maximum percentages of equity and/or voting interests for which advance approval is sought or, in lieu of a specific amount, shall state that the petitioner requests advance approval for the named foreign individual(s) or entity(ies) to increase their interests up to and including a non-controlling 49.99 percent equity and/or voting interest in the licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(2), or in the controlling U.S. parent of the licensee, for petitions filed under § 1.990(a)(1).

How to calculate indirect equity and voting interests.

(a) The criteria specified in this section shall be used for purposes of calculating indirect equity and voting interests under § 1.991.

(b)(1) Equity interests held indirectly in the licensee and/or controlling U.S. parent. Equity interests that are held by an individual or entity indirectly through one or more intervening entities shall be calculated by successive multiplication of the equity percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain, regardless of whether any particular link in the chain represents a controlling interest in the company positioned in the next lower tier.

Example. Assume that a foreign individual holds a non-controlling 30 percent equity and voting interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A which, in turn, holds a non-controlling 40 percent equity and voting interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B. The foreign individual's equity interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B would be calculated by multiplying the foreign individual's equity interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A by that entity's equity interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B. The foreign individual's equity interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B would be calculated as 12 percent (30% × 40% = 12%). The result would be the same even if U.S.-organized Corporation A held a de facto controlling interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B.

(2) Voting interests held indirectly in the licensee and/or controlling U.S. parent. Voting interests that are held by any individual or entity indirectly through one or more intervening entities will be determined depending upon the type of business organization(s) in which the individual or entity holds a voting interest as follows:

(i) Voting interests that are held through one or more intervening corporations shall be calculated by successive multiplication of the voting percentages for each link in the vertical ownership chain, except that wherever the voting interest for any link in the chain is equal to or exceeds 50 percent or represents actual control, it shall be treated as if it were a 100 percent interest.

Example. Assume that a foreign individual holds a non-controlling 30 percent equity and voting interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A which, in turn, holds a controlling 70 percent equity and voting interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B. Because U.S.-organized Corporation A's 70 percent voting interest in U.S.-organized Parent Corporation B constitutes a controlling interest, it is treated as a 100 percent interest. The foreign individual's 30 percent voting interest in U.S.-organized Corporation A would flow through in its entirety to U.S. Parent Corporation B and thus be calculated as 30 percent (30% × 100% = 30%).

(ii) Voting interests that are held through one or more intervening partnerships shall be calculated depending upon whether the individual or entity holds a general partnership interest, an uninsulated partnership interest, or an insulated partnership interest as specified in paragraphs (b)(2)(ii)(A) and (B) of this section.

(A) General partnership and other uninsulated partnership interests. A general partner and uninsulated partner shall be deemed to hold the same voting interest as the partnership holds in the company situated in the next lower tier of the vertical ownership chain. A partner shall be treated as uninsulated unless the limited partnership agreement, limited liability partnership agreement, or other operative agreement Start Printed Page 12518satisfies the insulation criteria specified in § 1.993.

Note to paragraph (b)(2)(ii)(A):

The Commission presumes that a general partner of a general partnership or limited partnership has a controlling interest in the partnership. A general partner shall in all cases be deemed to hold an uninsulated interest in the partnership.

(B) Insulated partnership interests. A partner of a limited partnership (other than a general partner) or partner of a limited liability partnership that satisfies the insulation criteria specified in § 1.993 shall be treated as an insulated partner and shall be deemed to hold a voting interest in the partnership that is equal to the partner's equity interest.

(iii) Voting interests that are held through one or more intervening limited liability companies shall be calculated depending upon whether the individual or entity is a non-member manager, an uninsulated member or an insulated member as specified in paragraphs (b)(2)(iii)(A) and (B) of this section.

(A) Non-member managers and uninsulated membership interests. A non-member manager and an uninsulated member of a limited liability company shall be deemed to hold the same voting interest as the limited liability company holds in the company situated in the next lower tier of the vertical ownership chain. A member shall be treated as uninsulated unless the limited liability company agreement satisfies the insulation criteria specified in § 1.993.

(B) Insulated membership interests. A member of a limited liability company that satisfies the insulation criteria specified in § 1.993 shall be treated as an insulated member and shall be deemed to hold a voting interest in the limited liability company that is equal to the member's equity interest.

Insulation criteria for interests in limited partnerships, limited liability partnerships, and limited liability companies.

(a) A limited partner of a limited partnership and a partner of a limited liability partnership shall be treated as uninsulated within the meaning of § 1.992(b)(2)(ii)(A) unless the partner is prohibited by the limited partnership agreement, limited liability partnership agreement, or other operative agreement from, and in fact is not engaged in, active involvement in the management or operation of the partnership and only the usual and customary investor protections are contained in the partnership agreement or other operative agreement. These criteria apply to any relevant limited partnership or limited liability partnership, whether it is the licensee, a controlling U.S.-organized parent, or any partnership situated above them in the vertical chain of ownership.

(b) A member of a limited liability company shall be treated as uninsulated for purposes of § 1.992(b)(2)(iii)(A) unless the member is prohibited by the limited liability company agreement from, and in fact is not engaged in, active involvement in the management or operation of the company and only the usual and customary investor protections are contained in the agreement. These criteria apply to any relevant limited liability company, whether it is the licensee, a controlling U.S.-organized parent, or any limited liability company situated above them in the vertical chain of ownership.

(c) The usual and customary investor protections referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section shall consist of:

(1) The power to prevent the sale or pledge of all or substantially all of the assets of the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company or a voluntary filing for bankruptcy or liquidation;

(2) The power to prevent the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company from entering into contracts with majority investors or their affiliates;

(3) The power to prevent the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company from guaranteeing the obligations of majority investors or their affiliates;

(4) The power to purchase an additional interest in the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company to prevent the dilution of the partner's or member's pro rata interest in the event that the limited partnership, limited liability partnership, or limited liability company issues additional instruments conveying interests in the partnership or company;

(5) The power to prevent the change of existing legal rights or preferences of the partners, members, or managers as provided in the limited partnership agreement, limited liability partnership agreement, or limited liability company agreement, or other operative agreement;

(6) The power to vote on the removal of a general partner, managing partner, managing member, or other manager in situations where such individual or entity is subject to bankruptcy, insolvency, reorganization, or other proceedings relating to the relief of debtors; adjudicated insane or incompetent by a court of competent jurisdiction (in the case of a natural person); convicted of a felony; or otherwise removed for cause, as determined by an independent party;

(7) The power to prevent the amendment of the limited partnership agreement, limited liability partnership agreement, or limited liability company agreement, or other organizational documents of the partnership or limited liability company with respect to the matters described in paragraphs (c)(1) through (6) of this section.

(d) The Commission reserves the right to consider, on a case-by-case basis, whether voting or consent rights over matters other than those listed in paragraph (c) of this section shall be considered usual and customary investor protections in a particular case.

Routine terms and conditions.

Foreign ownership rulings issued pursuant to §§ 1.990 through 1.993 shall be subject to the following terms and conditions, except as otherwise specified in a particular ruling:

(a)(1) Aggregate allowance for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(1). In addition to the foreign ownership interests approved specifically in a licensee's declaratory ruling issued pursuant to § 1.990(a)(1), the controlling U.S.-organized parent named in the ruling (or a U.S.-organized successor-in-interest formed as part of a pro forma reorganization) may be 100 percent owned, directly and/or indirectly through one or more U.S- or foreign-organized entities, on a going-forward basis (i.e., after issuance of the ruling) by other foreign investors without prior Commission approval. This “100 percent aggregate allowance” is subject to the requirement that the licensee seek and obtain Commission approval before any foreign individual, entity, or “group” not previously approved acquires, directly and/or indirectly, more than five percent of the U.S. parent's outstanding capital stock (equity) and/or voting stock, or a controlling interest, with the exception of any foreign individual, entity, or “group” that acquires an equity and/or voting interest of ten percent or less, provided that the interest is exempt under § 1.991(i)(3).

(2) Aggregate allowance for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(2). In addition to the foreign ownership interests approved specifically in a licensee's declaratory ruling issued pursuant to § 1.990(a)(2), the licensee(s) named in the ruling (or a U.S.-organized successor-in-interest formed as part of a pro forma reorganization) may be 100 Start Printed Page 12519percent owned on a going forward basis (i.e., after issuance of the ruling) by other foreign investors holding interests in the licensee indirectly through U.S.-organized entities that do not control the licensee, without prior Commission approval. This “100 percent aggregate allowance” is subject to the requirement that the licensee seek and obtain Commission approval before any foreign individual, entity, or “group” not previously approved acquires directly and/or indirectly, through one or more U.S.-organized entities that do not control the licensee, more than five percent of the licensee's outstanding capital stock (equity) and/or voting stock, with the exception of any foreign individual, entity, or “group” that acquires an equity and/or voting interest of ten percent or less, provided that the interest is exempt under § 1.991(i)(3). Foreign ownership interests held directly in a licensee shall not be permitted to exceed an aggregate 20 percent of the licensee's equity and/or voting interests.

Note to Paragraph (a):

Licensees have an obligation to monitor and stay ahead of changes in foreign ownership of their controlling U.S.-organized parent companies (for rulings issued pursuant to § 1.990(a)(1)) and/or in the licensee itself (for rulings issued pursuant to § 1.990(a)(2)), to ensure that the licensee obtains Commission approval before a change in foreign ownership renders the licensee out of compliance with the terms and conditions of its declaratory ruling(s) or the Commission's rules. Licensees, their controlling parent companies, and other entities in the licensee's vertical ownership chain may need to place restrictions in their bylaws or other organizational documents to enable the licensee to ensure compliance with the terms and conditions of its declaratory ruling(s) and the Commission's rules.

Example 1 (for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(1)). U.S. Corp. files an application for a common carrier license. U.S. Corp. is wholly owned and controlled by U.S. Parent, which is a newly formed, privately held Delaware corporation in which no single shareholder has de jure or de facto control. A shareholders' agreement provides that a five-member board of directors shall govern the affairs of the company; five named shareholders shall be entitled to one seat and one vote on the board; and all decisions of the board shall be determined by majority vote. The five named shareholders and their respective equity interests are as follows: Foreign Entity A, which is wholly owned and controlled by a foreign citizen (5 percent); Foreign Entity B, which is wholly owned and controlled by a foreign citizen (10 percent); Foreign Entity C, a foreign public company with no controlling shareholder (20 percent); Foreign Entity D, a foreign pension fund that is controlled by a foreign citizen and in which no individual or entity has a pecuniary interest exceeding one percent (21 percent); and U.S. Entity E, a U.S. public company with no controlling shareholder (25 percent). The remaining 19 percent of U.S. Parent's shares are held by three foreign-organized entities as follows: F (4 percent), G (6 percent), and H (9 percent). Under the shareholders' agreement, voting rights of F, G, and H are limited to the minority shareholder protections listed in § 1.991(i)(5). Further, the agreement expressly prohibits G and H from becoming actively involved in the management or operation of U.S. Parent and U.S. Corp.

As required by the rules, U.S. Corp. files a section 310(b)(4) petition concurrently with its application. The petition identifies and requests specific approval for the ownership interests held in U.S. Parent by Foreign Entity A and its sole shareholder (5 percent equity and 20 percent voting interest); Foreign Entity B and its sole shareholder (10 percent equity and 20 percent voting interest), Foreign Entity C (20 percent equity and 20 percent voting interest), and Foreign Entity D (21 percent equity and 20 percent voting interest) and its fund manager (20 percent voting interest). The Commission's ruling specifically approves these foreign interests. The ruling also provides that, on a going-forward basis, U.S. Parent may be 100 percent owned in the aggregate, directly and/or indirectly, by other foreign investors, subject to the requirement that U.S. Corp. seek and obtain Commission approval before any previously unapproved foreign investor acquires more than five percent of U.S. Parent's equity and/or voting interests, or a controlling interest, with the exception of any foreign investor that acquires an equity and/or voting interest of ten percent or less, provided that the interest is exempt under § 1.991(i)(3).

In this case, foreign entities F, G, and H would each be considered a previously unapproved foreign investor (along with any new foreign investors). However, prior approval for F, G and H would only apply to an increase of F's interest above five percent (because the ten percent exemption under § 1.991(i)(3) does not apply to F) or to an increase of G's or H's interest above ten percent (because G and H do qualify for this exemption). U.S. Corp. would also need Commission approval before Foreign Entity D appoints a new fund manager that is a non-U.S. citizen and before Foreign Entities A, B, C, or D increase their respective equity and/or voting interests in U.S. Parent, unless the petition previously sought and obtained Commission approval for such increases (up to non-controlling 49.99 percent interests). (See § 1.991(k)(2).) Foreign shareholders of Foreign Entity C and U.S. Entity E would also be considered previously unapproved foreign investors. Thus, Commission approval would be required before any foreign shareholder of Foreign Entity C or U.S. Entity E acquires (1) a controlling interest in either company; or (2) a non-controlling equity and/or voting interest in either company that, when multiplied by the company's equity and/or voting interests in U.S. Parent, would exceed 5 percent of U.S. Parent's equity and/or voting interests, unless the interest is exempt under § 1.991(i)(3).

Example 2 (for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(2)). Assume that the following three U.S.-organized entities hold non-controlling equity and voting interests in common carrier Licensee, which is a privately held corporation organized in Delaware: U.S. corporation A (30 percent); U.S. corporation B (30 percent); and U.S. corporation C (40 percent). Licensee's shareholders are wholly owned by foreign individuals X, Y, and Z, respectively. Licensee has received a declaratory ruling under § 1.990(a)(2) specifically approving the 30 percent foreign ownership interests held in Licensee by each of X and Y (through U.S. corporation A and U.S. corporation B, respectively) and the 40 percent foreign ownership interest held in Licensee by Z (through U.S. corporation C). On a going-forward basis, Licensee may be 100 percent owned in the aggregate by X, Y, Z, and other foreign investors holding interests in Licensee indirectly, through U.S.-organized entities that do not control Licensee, subject to the requirement that Licensee obtain Commission approval before any previously unapproved foreign investor acquires more than five percent of Licensee's equity and/or voting interests, with the exception of any foreign investor that acquires an equity and/or voting interest of ten percent or less, provided that the interest is exempt under § 1.991(i)(3). In this case, any foreign investor other than X, Y, and Z would be considered a previously unapproved foreign investor. Licensee would also need Commission approval before X, Y, or Z increases its equity and/or voting interests in Licensee unless the petition previously sought and obtained Commission approval for such increases (up to non-controlling 49.99 percent interests). (See § 1.991(k)(2).)

(b) Subsidiaries and affiliates. A foreign ownership ruling issued to a licensee shall cover it and any U.S.-organized subsidiary or affiliate, as defined in § 1.990(d), whether the subsidiary or affiliate existed at the time the ruling was issued or was formed or acquired subsequently, provided that the foreign ownership of the licensee named in the ruling, and of the subsidiary and/or affiliate, remains in compliance with the terms and conditions of the licensee's ruling and the Commission's rules.

(1) The subsidiary or affiliate of a licensee named in a foreign ownership Start Printed Page 12520ruling issued under § 1.990(a)(1) may rely on that ruling for purposes of filing its own application for an initial common carrier or aeronautical license or spectrum leasing arrangement, or an application to acquire such license or spectrum leasing arrangement by assignment or transfer of control provided that the subsidiary or affiliate, and the licensee named in the ruling, each certifies in the application that its foreign ownership is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the foreign ownership ruling and the Commission's rules.

(2) The subsidiary or affiliate of a licensee named in a foreign ownership ruling issued under § 1.990(a)(2) may rely on that ruling for purposes of filing its own application for an initial common carrier radio station license or spectrum leasing arrangement, or an application to acquire such license or spectrum leasing arrangement by assignment or transfer of control provided that the subsidiary or affiliate, and the licensee named in the ruling, each certifies in the application that its foreign ownership is in compliance with the terms and conditions of the foreign ownership ruling and the Commission's rules.

(3) The certifications required by paragraphs (b)(1) and (2) of this section shall also include the citation(s) of the relevant ruling(s) (i.e., the DA or FCC Number, FCC Record citation when available, and release date).

(c) Insertion of new controlling foreign-organized companies. (1) Where a licensee's foreign ownership ruling specifically authorizes a named, foreign investor to hold a controlling interest in the licensee's controlling U.S.-organized parent, for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(1), or in an intervening U.S.-organized entity that does not control the licensee, for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(2), the ruling shall permit the insertion of new, controlling foreign-organized companies in the vertical ownership chain above the controlling U.S. parent, for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(1), or above an intervening U.S.-organized entity that does not control the licensee, for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(2), without prior Commission approval provided that any new foreign-organized company(ies) are under 100 percent common ownership and control with the foreign investor approved in the ruling.

(2) Where a previously unapproved foreign-organized entity is inserted into the vertical ownership chain of a licensee, or its controlling U.S.-organized parent, without prior Commission approval pursuant to paragraph (c)(1) of this section, the licensee shall file a letter to the attention of the Chief, International Bureau, within 30 days after the insertion of the new, foreign-organized entity. The letter must include the name of the new, foreign-organized entity and a certification by the licensee that the entity complies with the 100 percent common ownership and control requirement in paragraph (c)(1) of this section. The letter must also reference the licensee's foreign ownership ruling(s) by IBFS File No. and FCC Record citation, if available. This letter notification need not be filed if the ownership change is instead the subject of a pro forma application or pro forma notification already filed with the Commission pursuant to the relevant wireless radio service rules or satellite radio service rules applicable to the licensee.

(3) Nothing in this section is intended to affect any requirements for prior approval under 47 U.S.C. 310(d) or conditions for forbearance from the requirements of 47 U.S.C. 310(d) pursuant to 47 U.S.C. 160.

Example (for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(1)). Licensee receives a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.990(a)(1) that authorizes its controlling, U.S.-organized parent (“U.S. Parent A”) to be wholly owned and controlled by a foreign-organized company (“Foreign Company”). Foreign Company is minority owned (20 percent) by U.S.-organized Corporation B, with the remaining 80 percent controlling interest held by Foreign Citizen C. After issuance of the ruling, Foreign Company forms a wholly-owned, foreign-organized subsidiary (“Foreign Subsidiary”) to hold all of Foreign Company's shares in U.S. Parent A. There are no other changes in the direct or indirect foreign ownership of U.S. Parent A. The insertion of Foreign Subsidiary into the vertical ownership chain between Foreign Company and U.S. Parent A would not require prior Commission approval, except for any approval otherwise required pursuant to section 310(d) of the Communications Act and not exempt therefrom as a pro forma transfer of control under § 1.948(c)(1).

Example (for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(2)). An applicant for a common carrier license receives a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.990(a)(2) that authorizes a foreign-organized company (“Foreign Company”) to hold a non-controlling 44 percent equity and voting interest in the applicant through Foreign Company's wholly-owned, U.S.-organized subsidiary, U.S. Corporation A, which holds the non-controlling 44 percent interest directly in the applicant. The remaining 56 percent of the applicant's equity and voting interests are held by its controlling U.S.-organized parent, which has no foreign ownership. After issuance of the ruling, Foreign Company forms a wholly-owned, foreign-organized subsidiary to hold all of Foreign Company's shares in U.S. Corporation A. There are no other changes in the direct or indirect foreign ownership of U.S. Corporation A. The insertion of the foreign-organized subsidiary into the vertical ownership chain between Foreign Company and U.S. Corporation A would not require prior Commission approval.

(d) Insertion of new non-controlling foreign-organized companies. (1) Where a licensee's foreign ownership ruling specifically authorizes a named, foreign investor to hold a non-controlling interest in the licensee's controlling U.S.-organized parent, for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(1), or in an intervening U.S.-organized entity that does not control the licensee, for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(2), the ruling shall permit the insertion of new, foreign-organized companies in the vertical ownership chain above the controlling U.S. parent, for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(1), or above an intervening U.S.-organized entity that does not control the licensee, for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(2), without prior Commission approval provided that any new foreign-organized company(ies) are under 100 percent common ownership and control with the foreign investor approved in the ruling.

Note to Paragraph (d)(1):

Where a licensee has received a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.990(a)(2) and the ruling specifically authorizes a named, foreign investor to hold a non-controlling interest directly in the licensee (subject to the 20 percent aggregate limit on direct foreign investment), the ruling shall permit the insertion of new, foreign-organized companies in the vertical ownership chain of the approved foreign investor without prior Commission approval provided that any new foreign-organized companies are under 100 percent common ownership and control with the approved foreign investor.

Example (for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(1)). Licensee receives a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.990(a)(1) that authorizes a foreign-organized company (“Foreign Company”) to hold a non-controlling 30 percent equity and voting interest in Licensee's controlling, U.S.-organized parent (“U.S. Parent A”). The remaining 70 percent equity and voting interests in U.S. Parent A are held by U.S.-organized entities which have no foreign ownership. After issuance of the ruling, Foreign Company forms a wholly-owned, foreign-organized subsidiary (“Foreign Subsidiary”) to hold all of Foreign Company's shares in U.S. Parent A. There are no other changes in the direct or indirect foreign ownership of U.S. Parent A. The insertion of Foreign Subsidiary into the vertical ownership chain between Foreign Company and U.S. Parent A would not require prior Commission approval.

Example (for rulings issued under § 1.990(a)(2)). Licensee receives a foreign ownership ruling under § 1.990(a)(2) that authorizes a foreign-organized entity (“Foreign Company”) to hold approximately Start Printed Page 1252124 percent of Licensee's equity and voting interests, through Foreign Company's non-controlling 48 percent equity and voting interest in a U.S.-organized entity, U.S. Corporation A, which holds a non-controlling 49 percent equity and voting interest directly in Licensee. A U.S. citizen holds the remaining 52 percent equity and voting interests in U.S. Corporation A, and the remaining 51 percent equity and voting interests in Licensee are held by its U.S.-organized parent, which has no foreign ownership. After issuance of the ruling, Foreign Company forms a wholly-owned, foreign-organized subsidiary (“Foreign Subsidiary”) to hold all of Foreign Company's shares in U.S. Corporation A. There are no other changes in the direct or indirect foreign ownership of U.S. Corporation A. The insertion of Foreign Subsidiary into the vertical ownership chain between Foreign Company and U.S. Corporation A would not require prior Commission approval.

(2) Where a previously unapproved foreign-organized entity is inserted into the vertical ownership chain of a licensee, or its controlling U.S.-organized parent, without prior Commission approval pursuant to paragraph (d)(1) of this section, the licensee shall file a letter to the attention of the Chief, International Bureau, within 30 days after the insertion of the new, foreign-organized entity. The letter must include the name of the new, foreign-organized entity and a certification by the licensee that the entity complies with the 100 percent common ownership and control requirement in paragraph (d)(1) of this section. The letter must also reference the licensee's foreign ownership ruling(s) by IBFS File No. and FCC Record citation, if available. This letter notification need not be filed if the ownership change is instead the subject of a pro forma application or pro forma notification already filed with the Commission pursuant to the relevant wireless radio service rules or satellite radio service rules applicable to the licensee.

(e) New petition for declaratory ruling required. A licensee that has received a foreign ownership ruling, including a U.S.-organized successor-in-interest to such licensee formed as part of a pro forma reorganization, or any subsidiary or affiliate relying on such licensee's ruling pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section, shall file a new petition for declaratory ruling under § 1.990 to obtain Commission approval before its foreign ownership exceeds the routine terms and conditions of this section, and/or any specific terms or conditions of its ruling.

(f)(1) Continuing compliance. If at any time the licensee, including any successor-in-interest and any subsidiary or affiliate as described in paragraph (b) of this section, knows, or has reason to know, that it is no longer in compliance with its foreign ownership ruling or the Commission's rules relating to foreign ownership, it shall file a statement with the Commission explaining the circumstances within 30 days of the date it knew, or had reason to know, that it was no longer in compliance therewith. Subsequent actions taken by or on behalf of the licensee to remedy its non-compliance shall not relieve it of the obligation to notify the Commission of the circumstances (including duration) of non-compliance. Such licensee and any controlling companies, whether U.S.- or foreign-organized, shall be subject to enforcement action by the Commission for such non-compliance, including an order requiring divestiture of the investor's direct and/or indirect interests in such entities.

(2) Any individual or entity that, directly or indirectly, creates or uses a trust, proxy, power of attorney, or any other contract, arrangement, or device with the purpose or effect of divesting itself, or preventing the vesting, of an equity interest or voting interest in the licensee, or in a controlling U.S. parent company, as part of a plan or scheme to evade the application of the Commission's rules or policies under section 310(b) shall be subject to enforcement action by the Commission, including an order requiring divestiture of the investor's direct and/or indirect interests in such entities.

End Supplemental Information

[FR Doc. 2017-03990 Filed 3-3-17; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 6712-01-P