In re Pandora Radio LLC, FCC 15-129 (FCC released Sep. 17, 2015).
The FCC denied ASCAP's motion for reconsideration of (1) the Media Bureau's decision granting the application to assign the license of KXMZ FM radio station in South Dakaota to Pandora; and (2) the Commission's declaratory ruling, which held that it would serve the public interest to permit a widely dispersed group of shareholders to hold aggreage foreign ownership in Pandora in excess of the 25% benchmark set out in Section 310(b)(5) of the Communications Act of 1934 (subject to certain conditions). The FCC re-affirmed its finding that ASCAP lacked standing to challenge the license assignment. ASCAP also claimed that the Bureau should have examined the rationale and motivation behind Pandora's transaction, specifically, Pandora's hope by acquiring the radio station to qualify for lower music license royalty rates. The FCC found that "whatever the impact of its acquisition on such royalty rates may be, Pandora has undertaken to offer programming responsive to the interests of its local listeners, and ASCAP has failed to identify any substantial and matieral question about Pandora's ability to provide such service in the public interest."