The House Commerce Committee has started an investigation of the Federal Communication Commission's alleged mistreatment of Telestar Inc., an Orem-based microwave communications company, according to Rep. Howard Nielson, R-Utah.

Nielson, a member of the committee, has charged that the FCC favored MCI Inc. and denied Telestar an operating license in competition with the far larger MCI.Telestar built a microwave system while awaiting an FCC operating permit. The commission, Nielson said, denied the company the permit, effectively putting it out of business.

MCI, which committed the same technical violation, was fined $10,000 and given its permit, Nielson said.

Committee chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., directed investigators to look into the matter.