Williams & Connolly’s Client Sprint Prevails in Preliminary Injunction Proceedings

April 2020

Williams & Connolly successfully represented Sprint Corp. and one of its subsidiaries ("the Company") in obtaining injunctive relief against an FCC licensee in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas.  The dispute arose out of a contract between the Company and the licensee whereby the Company leased spectrum in the Austin, Texas area and obtained an option to buy the license to the spectrum for a set price.  Over the years, the spectrum grew more valuable, and recently, as the contract term wound to a close, a startup run by former Sprint executives made an offer to the licensee to purchase the license for an amount higher than the contract price.  The licensee failed to disclose that offer, as the contract required it to do; ignored the Company’s exercise of its purchase option; and notified the Company that, if it did not match the competing offer, the licensee was going to sell the license to the startup. 

Working entirely from home, the Williams & Connolly team filed a motion for a TRO and preliminary injunction seeking to enforce the Company’s rights under the contract, fully briefed that motion, filed a counterclaim against the licensee, moved to dismiss the complaint brought by the licensee, and then on March 31, 2020 argued the TRO/preliminary injunction motion.  On April 3, 2020, the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas granted the preliminary injunction motion.  The Court fully adopted the Company’s position on each element of the preliminary injunction standard, and went even further, affirmatively finding that the licensee breached the contract by failing to promptly disclose the competing offer. 

The team representing the Sprint entities includes Kenneth Brown, William Ashworth, Charles Davant, Matthew Blumenstein, Jay Swanson, and Jessica Pinkham.

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