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The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licenses

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Abstract

This paper reviews the part played by economists in organizing the British third-generation mobile-phone licence auction that concluded on 27 April 2000. It raised £22 1/2 billion ($34 billion or 2 1/2% of GNP) and was widely described at the time as the biggest auction ever. We discuss the merits of auctions versus "beauty contests", the aims of the auction, the problems we faced, the auction designs we considered, and the mistakes that were made.

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File URL: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/papers/2002/w4/biggest29nov.pdf
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford in its series Economics Papers with number 2002-W4.

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Length: 33 pages
Date of creation: 01 Feb 2001
Date of revision: 01 Sep 2001
Handle: RePEc:nuf:econwp:0204

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Web page: http://www.nuff.ox.ac.uk/economics/

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Keywords: Auctions; Telecommunications; Spectrum Auctions; Mobile Phones; 3G; UMTS; Bidding.;

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  25. Klaus Abbink & Bernd Irlenbusch & Paul Pezanis-Christou & Bettina Rockenbach & Abdolkarim Sadrieh & Reinhard Selten, 2001. "An Experimental Test of Design Alternatives for the British 3G / UMTS Auction," Bonn Econ Discussion Papers bgse25_2001, University of Bonn, Germany.
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