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August 14, 2013

LightSquared Investors Sue GPS Makers for $1.9 billion

Project opponents lobbied FCC, saying LightSquared network would damage GPS signal

A group of investors has filed a $1.9 billion lawsuit against three GPS makers — Garmin International, Trimble Navigation and Deere & Company — over the now-bankrupt LightSquared firm, which attempted last year to build a wireless-broadband network that many believed would gravely interfere with GPS signals. 

The LightSquared investors say they lost a lot of money when the Federal Communications Commission denied the company permission to build the network. According to the website for InsideGNSS, the investors say those three GPS makers plus the U.S. GPS Industry Council and the Coalition to Save Our GPS failed to warn them about problems that forced a halt to the project.

BoatU.S. rallied recreational anglers and boaters and the entire marine industry to spread the word, and 18,000 wrote to the FCC, asking the agency to protect the integrity of the GPS signal.

None of the parties named in the suit have yet commented publicly; Garmin says it does not comment on pending litigation. The online Soundings Trade Only Today has also published details about the suit. Reuters says the suit was filed Friday in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan.