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FCC may change rules that gave Dish $3 billion in small business discounts

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Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated a call for comments on a new system

Earlier this year, the FCC took in $44.9 billion in bids through a wireless spectrum auction, as the wireless industry's biggest companies battled it out for airwave licenses. But quickly, some of that money proved controversial: FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai accused Dish Network of manipulating small business discounts, paying $3 billion less in the auction than it would have otherwise.

Today, the FCC took early steps toward changing that. Chairman Tom Wheeler has circulated a "public notice" asking for comments from other FCC commissioners on possible reforms to the system, Reuters reports. Dish took the $3 billion by operating through small shell companies that it's invested in, and the proposals would theoretically prevent that from happening again, confining the discounts only to up-start companies hoping to compete with big telecoms.

The rules could still be a long while from changing, but as Reuters reports, the FCC is currently reviewing Dish's discounts.