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Alternative Market Briefing

Falcone fires back at Senator Grassley’s allegations

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Bailey McCann, Opalesque New York: LightSquared and Harbinger are fighting back against insinuations from Senator Chuck Grassley that one of their associates was attempting to bribe him.

Both LightSquared and Harbinger Capital Partners LLC are claiming that the Senator is trying to create an impression of impropriety where none exists.

Harbinger holds a majority stake in LightSquared, which is a next generation broadband company. It had been seeking regulatory approval to continue doing business. Harbinger is a US-based hedge fund operated by billionaire investor Philip A. Falcone, and is supporting the broadband company in its efforts to build a nationwide wireless network.

Senator Grassley is on record as being against LightSquared’s attempts to move forward with this project.

According to the NYTimes, Mr. Grassley, as chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had led a Congressional investigation into Mr. Falcone and LightSquared, seeking documents to determine why the Federal Communications Commission granted the company a crucial waiver. Apparently, the GPS community, which includes some of Grassley’s constituents, fears that Mr. Falcone’s technology could interfere with GPS devices used by everyone.

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