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

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  • Paul Klemperer
  • Ken Binmore

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 University of Oxford, Department of Economics in its series Economics Series Working Papers with number 2002-W04.

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Date of creation: 01 Sep 2001
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Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2002-w04

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Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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Keywords: Auctions; Telecommunications; Spectrum Auctions; Mobile Phones; 3G; UMTS; Bidding;

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References

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  18. Peter Cramton & Jesse Schwartz, 2000. "Collusive Bidding in the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers, Econometric Society 1210, Econometric Society.
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  22. Börgers, Tilman & Dustmann, Christian, 2001. "Strange Bids: Bidding Behaviour in the United Kingdom's Third Generation Spectrum Auction," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 3072, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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