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The Swiss UMTS Spectrum Auction Flop: Bad Luck or Bad Design

  • Elmar G. Wolfstetter

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 auctiondesign 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 keyingredients 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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File URL: http://www.cesifo-group.de/portal/page/portal/DocBase_Content/WP/WP-CESifo_Working_Papers/wp-cesifo-2001/wp-cesifo-2001-08/cesifo_wp534.pdf
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Paper provided by CESifo Group Munich in its series CESifo Working Paper Series with number 534.

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Date of creation: 2001
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Handle: RePEc:ces:ceswps:_534
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  1. 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.
  2. Milgrom, Paul R & Weber, Robert J, 1982. "A Theory of Auctions and Competitive Bidding," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(5), pages 1089-1122, September.
  3. Maskin, Eric & Riley, John, 2000. "Asymmetric Auctions," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(3), pages 413-38, July.
  4. Klemperer, Paul, 2000. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," CEPR Discussion Papers 2581, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. 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.
  6. Veronika Grimm & Frank Riedel & Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2001. "The Third Generation (UMTS) Spectrum Auction in Germany," CESifo Working Paper Series 584, CESifo Group Munich.
  7. M. Landsberger & J. Rubinstein & E. Wolfstetter & S. Zamir, 1996. "First-Price Auctions when the Ranking of Valuations is Common Knowledge," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 1996,36, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  8. Grimm, Veronika & Riedel, Frank & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2000. "Implementing efficient market structure," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2000,19, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  9. Menezes, Flavio M., 1996. "Multiple-unit English auctions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 671-684, December.
  10. Martin Feldstein, 1995. "Tax Avoidance and the Deadweight Loss of the Income Tax," NBER Working Papers 5055, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  11. 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.
  12. Vijay Krishna & Motty Perry, 1997. "Efficient Mechanism Design," Game Theory and Information 9703010, EconWPA, revised 28 Apr 1998.
  13. Elmar Wolfstetter & Michael Landsberger & Jakob Rubinstei & Shmuel Zamir, 1997. "First-Price Auctions when the Ranking of Valuations," Microeconomics 9701004, EconWPA.
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