DP3215 How (Not) to Run Auctions: The European 3G Telecom Auctions

Author(s): Paul Klemperer
Publication Date: February 2002
Keyword(s): 3g, auctions, bidding, spectrum auctions, telecommunications, umts
JEL(s): D44, L96
Programme Areas: Public Economics, Financial Economics, Industrial Organization
Link to this Page: cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=3215

There were enormous differences in the revenues from the European ?third generation? (3G, or ?MTS?) mobile-phone license auctions, from 20 Euros per capita in Switzerland to 650 Euros per capita in the UK, though the values of the licences sold were similar. Poor auction designs in some countries facilitated collusion between firms and failed to attract entrants. The sequencing of the auctions was also crucial. We discuss the auctions in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Greece and Denmark.