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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oxf:wpaper:2002-w04

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Web page: http://www.economics.ox.ac.uk/
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Related research

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

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  7. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
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  12. Bulow, Jeremy I & Klemperer, Paul, 1994. "Auctions vs. Negotiations," CEPR Discussion Papers 924, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  13. Cramton, Peter & Schwartz, Jesse A, 2000. "Collusive Bidding: Lessons from the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Regulatory Economics, Springer, vol. 17(3), pages 229-52, May.
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  15. Plott, Charles R. & Salmon, Timothy C., 2004. "The simultaneous, ascending auction: dynamics of price adjustment in experiments and in the UK3G spectrum auction," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 53(3), pages 353-383, March.
  16. Abbink, Klaus & Irlenbusch, Bernd & Pezanis-Christou, Paul & Rockenbach, Bettina & Sadrieh, Abdolkarim & Selten, Reinhard, 2005. "An experimental test of design alternatives for the British 3G/UMTS auction," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 49(2), pages 505-530, February.
  17. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1998. "Prices and the Winners Curse," Economics Series Working Papers 1998-W02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  18. Paul Klemperer & Jeremy Bulow, 1998. "The Tobacco Deal," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W11, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  19. Jeremy Bulow & Ming Huang & Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Toeholds and Takeovers," Finance 9903005, EconWPA.
  20. Tilman Börgers & Christian Dustmann, 2005. "Strange Bids: Bidding Behaviour in the United Kingdom's Third Generation Spectrum Auction," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 115(505), pages 551-578, 07.
  21. Peter Cramton & Jesse Schwartz, 2000. "Collusive Bidding in the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1210, Econometric Society.
  22. Paul Milgrom, . "Putting Auction Theory to Work: The Simultaneous Ascending Auction," Working Papers 98002, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
  23. Marco Pagnozzi, 2003. "Sorry Winners," CSEF Working Papers 108, Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy, revised 09 May 2007.
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