Marriott Fined $504,000 for Closing Acquisition Before License Transfers
Wednesday, September 05, 2018 | Comments

Marriott International entered into a consent decree with the FCC and agreed to pay $504,000 and implement a compliance plan.

In September 2016, Marriott acquired Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide. The parties closed the transaction without obtaining the FCC’s prior consent to transfer control of 65 wireless FCC licenses held by Starwood to Marriott.

In February 2017, Marriott admitted to the FCC that it closed its acquisition of Starwood without obtaining the agency’s prior consent to transfer control of the various FCC radio licenses. The baseline penalty for an unauthorized transfer of control is $8,000, and multiple independent companies held Marriott’s various FCC licenses. The FCC’s rules required each entity to file separate transfer of control applications for independent approval by the FCC.

No applications were filed, and the FCC significantly increased Marriott’s financial penalty. The compliance plan includes implementing a compliance officer, manual, training program and report, along with establishing new operating procedures and reporting noncompliance within 15 days of discovery.

The consent decree is here.

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