The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California on February 18, 1998 · 44
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The San Francisco Examiner from San Francisco, California · 44

San Francisco, California
Issue Date:
Wednesday, February 18, 1998
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D-2 Wcdnnday, Febimry 18, 1998 SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER FCC puts 139 companies vie for local multipoint distribution service By Jeannine Averu ASSOCIATED Pfl88 WASHINGTON - A government auction of mammoth slices of airwaves is drawing companies that seek new fortunes in nascent wireless technology for telephone, television and Internet services. The Federal Communications Commission began auctioning licenses Wednesday for the new technology called local multipoint distribution service, or LMDS, and 139 companies are vying for them. The auction is expected to raise hundreds of millions of dollars. The commission hopes companies using the new wireless technology will provide services that compete with local phone and cable companies. Advertise in our PERSONAL INVESTING business business editorial feature, publishing in The Chronicle and The Examiner on Monday, March 16. On that day, investors and investment firms alike will turn to this timely editorial section to discover the new developments for investing in the 21st century. Your ad will reach these people (who happen to be the right people) In the San Francisco DMA: 40 of adults who Invest In real estate (aside from their own homes) 38 of adults who own money market funds 35 of adults who own a money market account 35 of adults who own mutual funds 34 of adults who own non-employer stockstock options 31 of adults who own bonds Put the power of targeted advertising to work for you. For more information, please call: Beth Feeney at 415-777-7287, or your regular sales representative at 415-777-7250. Soutca 1986 9? Sort Moncisco Mark Gallup Study STAY Earn 3,000 Bonus Miles of Your Choice After a few more business trips, you and your bonus miles national (SCI) ClubMiles or airline miles, you'll receive 3,000 about to your town to see you. will be ready for a little vacation. It's all part of the Sheraton bonus miles. Use them for a free night's hotel stay, an upgrade, To register your SCI or frequent liver number, call 1-888-737-3983, Stay Your Way Bonus. or as air miles towards a well-deserved vacation on any one of visit our web site at, or call the SCI Awards Just stay three times at any participating Sheraton in North eight participating airlines. America and on top of your usual TrffvAt7fv AmericanAirlines Canadian Airlines Continentals A Delta Air Lines (JT l.wl..niM.l rt)uirr ilinwjth l - llll - .UVA5i.VOulimudrMj(n4U - airwaves The new service's delivery is akin to cellular phone service except that customers need a small receiver dish in or near a window to receive phone, television or data services. On the block are 986 licenses. Half would give an owner the right to occupy a large swath of airwaves 1,150 megahertz letting a company simultaneously provide 16,000 phone calls and 200 video channels. That's the biggest slices of airwaves ever auctioned by the government. The rest of the licenses are for a smaller slice 150 megahertz. One big license and one small license will be auctioned in each of 493 separate markets, every one roughly the size of a metropolitan area. Participating companies range from established telecommunications players such as Southwestern Bell and US West to upstarts such as Teligent and WinStar, to newcomers. Before the auction, all compa 3 TIMES. GET ITT Sheraton Club Inter- You can St lur tmt(l) jirlincprfrdm on auction block nies were required to give the FCC upfront payments. The more money a company put down, the more markets it can bid on. By this measure, the biggest potential bidder is WNP Communications Inc., which made a $100 million down payment. Backers include venture capital funds Norwest Capital and Chase Manhattan Venture Fund. The second-biggest potential bidder is NEXTBAND Communications, backed by Nextlink and Nextel Communications, with a $50 million down payment. The third-biggest potential bidder with a $33 million down payment is BCK-RIVGAM, a group backed by Mario Gabelli, one of the biggest mutual fund managers. To help companies attract financing and to compensate them for the FCC's decision not to let companies pay off winning bids in installments, the FCC is offering discount for smaller companies. The discounts, ranging from 25 0 SHERATON STAY YOUR WAY 3,000 MILES. TAKE SOME TIME OFF. even use your bonus miles to fly someone tmrtuvcts ot ITT Shrrilun not digitiU Other mtnctiiK percent to 45 percent, are taken off a company's total winning bids after the auction closes. The compa-; ny pays the balance to the govern- ment. The less gross revenues a company has, the larger the discount Companies with $15 million or less in gross revenues get 45 percent off, companies with $16 million to $39 million get 35 percent off, and companies with $40 million to $75 million get 25 percent off. A recent analysis by The Washington Post showed these bidding discounts will benefit mainly wealthy venture capitalists and those already in the business, rather than newcomers. FCC documents indicate WNP Communications and BCK-RIVGAM, for instance, would get 45 percent credits. Teligent and WinStar, both public companies that are well-financed, would get credits of 35 percent and 25 percent, respectively. The nation's fourth-largest wireless cable company, Bidder PCTV Gold, backed by People's Choice TV Corp., would get 35 percent off. MOVERS from D-l Dashe elevated to Cost Plus CEO service area was the first in Kaiser Permanente's California Division to transfer hospital services to other community partners. Phil Bradley, former regional director of sales for Documentum, has been appointed vice president of sales at FrontOffice Technologies. Bradley will be responsible for building, developing, and managing the company's worldwide sales force. FrontOffice Technologies, headquartered in San Mateo, develops document management solutions. Movers & Shakers appears Wednesdays and Fridays as space permits. Send information, including age of subjects, to Movers & Shakers, PO Box 7620, San Francisco 94120; fax it to (415) 957-9428; or e-mail it to BONUS Sheraton HOTELS & RESORTS TTT Center at 1-800-247-CLUB. I're - you care good for stays December 15, NORTHWEST I i 1 1 x I I Federated settles collection complaint CINCINNATI Federated Department Stores Inc. agreed Tuesday to a $14.64 million settlement with attorneys general in 20 states, including California, for improperly collecting payments from bankrupt credit card customers. According to the settlement, the department store wrongly enticed and threatened customers who had filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy to sign contracts agreeing to repay all or part of their debt rather than have it erased in bankruptcy. Federated, with annual sales of more than $15 billion, operates more than 400 department stores and 150 specialty stores in 36 states under the names of Bloomingdale's, Bon Marche, Burdines, Goldsmith's, Lazarus, Macy's, Rich's and Stem's. (Associated Press) Intuit will offer information on AOL REST0N, VA. America Online Inc. says Intuit Inc. will pay $30 million to provide personal finance information for AOL's Web site as the No. 1 on-line service expands its content and commerce revenue. Mountain View-based Intuit, which makes the popular Quicken money-management software, also will provide content for AOL's on-line service and promote America Online on its software and Web-based services. Intuit will pay about $16 million on signing the three-year agreement. (Bloomberg) Macromedia adds entertainment site San Francisco Macromedia Inc., looking for new sources of revenue, will set up an entertainment Web site on the Internet featuring on-line games, interactive comic strips and animated shorts. The new site, ShockRave, was to be launched Wednesday. Macromedia plans to profit from it by charging advertisers, a strategy used by other Internet software companies such as Netscape Communications Corp. Macromedia, based in San Francisco, is best known for computer programs that let graphic artists create computer-generated illustrations and short animated sequences. It also writes Shockwave, a popular utility that allows Web browsing software, like Netscape Navigator, to display animated figures and play music. (Reuters) k registration required. Promotion 1997 through April 15, 1998. U S AIRWAY Netscape shareholder sues over options WILMINGTON, DEL. Netscape Communications Corp. and five of its officials are being sued by a shareholder who contends that the software developer improperly lowered the price at which employees could exercise stock options. Shareholder Robert Lewis filed suit Tuesday in Delaware Chancery Court to stop the use of any employee options exercisable at the lowered price of $16.81 a share. The lawsuit arises from the steady decline in the shares' market price and reports that Netscape might sell some or all of the company. (Bloomberg) Intel readies chip for under-$l,000 market SAN JOSE Intel Corp. has given PC makers a sneak preview of a new line of processors designed for the burgeoning under-$l,000 market The new product line, code named "Covington," will use the same P6 architecture in Intel's Pentium II line, with less costly packaging. While Intel did not disclose the price or speed of the first Covington chips, industry analysts said they expect them to cost from $100 to $150 and operate at about 266 megahertz. 'This is clearly an interesting way to bring the Pentium II technology down to a lower price point. They are not sacrificing much," said Nathan Brookwood, a Dataquest Inc. analyst. (Reuters) PAC BELL from D-l Political line busy at Pac Bell employees to notify Pacific Bell when political activity is involved." Pac Bell responded to the labor division's request in a timely manner. But in its letter to the agency dated Feb. 13 the company disagreed that it might have violated a labor code. "Pacific Bell respects and obeys all laws," said spokesman John Britton. "Beyond that, Pacific Bell never has required employees to send any kind of postcards. . . . There's nothing to cease and desist." The labor division is scheduling a meeting with Pac Bell to discuss the situation. 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