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The Swiss UMTS spectrum auction flop: Bad luck or bad design?

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  • Wolfstetter, Elmar

Abstract

This paper gives an account of events, and explains some systematic reasons of the UMTS auction flop in Switzerland. Apart from general market developments, which could not have been anticipated, we argue that auction design which was introduced in England and adopted in Switzerland and elsewhere is a cause of the disappointing performance of many UMTS auctions in Europe, of which Switzerland is just one particularly pronounced example. The regulator would have been better advised to import some key ingredients of the auction design employed in Germany and Austria. This would have assured higher revenue or more competition. The paper closes with several proposals on how one should conduct future spectrum auctions. --

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes in its series SFB 373 Discussion Papers with number 2001,50.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200150

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Keywords: spectrum auctions; telecommunications; industrial organization;

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References

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  1. Grimm, Veronika & Riedel, Frank & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2001. "The third generation (UMTS) spectrum auction in Germany," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,70, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  2. Michael Landsberger & Jacob Rubinstein & Elmar Wolfstetter & Shmuel Zamir, 1999. "First-Price Auctions when the Ranking of Valuations is Common Knowledge," Working Papers 99-18, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  3. Motty Perry & Philip J. Reny, 1999. "On The Failure of the Linkage Principle in Multi-Unit Auctions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(4), pages 895-900, July.
  4. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Tax Avoidance and the Deadweight Loss of the Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 5055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
  6. Paul Klemperer, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Economics Series Working Papers 2000-W26, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  7. Elmar Wolfstetter & Michael Landsberger & Jakob Rubinstei & Shmuel Zamir, 1997. "First-Price Auctions when the Ranking of Valuations," Microeconomics 9701004, EconWPA.
  8. Veronika Grimm & Frank Riedel & Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2000. "Implementing Efficient Market Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 269, CESifo Group Munich.
  9. Paul Milgrom & Robert J. Weber, 1981. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Discussion Papers 447R, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  10. repec:wop:humbsf:2001-70 is not listed on IDEAS
  11. Vijay Krishna & Motty Perry, 1997. "Efficient Mechanism Design," Game Theory and Information 9703010, EconWPA, revised 28 Apr 1998.
  12. Robert J. Weber, 1997. "Making More from Less: Strategic Demand Reduction in the FCC Spectrum Auctions," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 6(3), pages 529-548, 09.
  13. Menezes, Flavio M., 1996. "Multiple-unit English auctions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 671-684, December.
  14. repec:wop:humbsf:2000-72 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Richard Engelbrecht-Wiggans & Charles M. Kahn, 2005. "Low-Revenue Equilibria in Simultaneous Ascending-Bid Auctions," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 51(3), pages 508-518, March.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Chan, Chris & Laplagne, Patrick & Appels, David, 2003. "The Role of Auctions in Allocating Public Resources," Staff Research Papers 31916, Productivity Commission.
  2. 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.
  3. van Damme, Eric, 2002. "The European UMTS-auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 846-858, May.
  4. Veronika Grimm & Frank Riedel & Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2001. "The Third Generation (UMTS) Spectrum Auction in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 584, CESifo Group Munich.
  5. Paul Klemperer, 2001. "How (Not) to Run Auctions: The European 3G Telecom Auctions," Economics Series Working Papers 2002-W05, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  6. Rose, Susan L. & Levin, Dan, 2008. "An experimental investigation of the explosive effect in almost common value auctions," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 67(3-4), pages 927-946, September.
  7. Glowicka, Ela & Beck, Jonathan, 2006. "A note on reserve price commitments in the Vickrey auction," MPRA Paper 6669, University Library of Munich, Germany.

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