The headline on a story about international rates of Communications Satellite Corp., also in Saturday's editions, was erroneous. The company has not been ordered to make refunds, as the headline stated.
Rather, as the story reported, a court decision on Friday could lead to future refunds - depending on action by the Federal Communications Commission, to which the rate case involved was returned.
In addition, several paragraphs of the story were inadvertently deleted - which had the effect of distorting the overall ruling. The court upheld the FCC's sole power to determine Comsat's rate structure and dismissed Comsat's claims that it should be permitted to make up through current charges some losses incurred in its early years.
On two other points, however, the court said the FCC must reconsider its decision. Specifically called into question by the court were the FCC's choice of interest rates applied during construction, and for compensation of some start-up costs - key factors in determining the rate base - and in requiring amortization of laboratory investments out of the rate base over a five-year period.
Involved in the interest rate dispute is the FCC's finding that Comsat might raise money by selling bonds (which the company never has done), with an interest cost structure far different from lending at commercial banks or institutional lenders.
On the other matter, the court decided that the FCC was ruling out investment in labs and technology as part of the rate base mainly because the FCC faced problems in accounting for such outlays. That is "an inadequate response," the court ruled.