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How (Not) to Run Auctions: The European 3G Telecom Auctions

  • Klemperer, Paul

There were enormous differences in the revenues from the European ‘third generation’ (3G, or ‘MTS’) mobile-phone license auctions, from 20 Euros per capita in Switzerland to 650 Euros per capita in the UK, though the values of the licences sold were similar. Poor auction designs in some countries facilitated collusion between firms and failed to attract entrants. The sequencing of the auctions was also crucial. We discuss the auctions in the UK, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Greece and Denmark.

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3215.

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Date of creation: Feb 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3215
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  1. Ashenfelter, Orley, 1989. "How Auctions Work for Wine and Art," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 3(3), pages 23-36, Summer.
  2. Paul Klemperer, 2000. "Why Every Economist Should Learn Some Auction Theory," Microeconomics 0004009, EconWPA.
  3. Paul Klemperer, 1999. "Auction Theory: A Guide to the Literature," Economics Series Working Papers 1999-W12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  4. Klemperer, Paul, 1998. "Auctions with almost common values: The 'Wallet Game' and its applications," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 42(3-5), pages 757-769, May.
  5. Bulow, Jeremy I. & Huang, Ming & Klemperer, Paul, 1996. "Toeholds and Takeovers," CEPR Discussion Papers 1486, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. Klemperer, Paul, 2003. "Using and Abusing Economic Theory," CEPR Discussion Papers 3813, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Plott, Charles R. & Salmon, Timothy, 2002. "The Simultaneous, Ascending Auction: Dynamics of Price Adjustment in Experiments and in the U.K. 3G Spectrum Auction," Working Papers 1155, California Institute of Technology, Division of the Humanities and Social Sciences.
  8. Roger B. Myerson & Mark A. Satterthwaite, 1981. "Efficient Mechanisms for Bilateral Trading," Discussion Papers 469S, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
  9. Peter Cramton & Robert Gibbons & Paul Klemperer, 1985. "Dissolving a Partnership Efficiently," Working papers 406, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
  10. 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.
  11. Paul Klemperer, 2002. "What Really Matters in Auction Design," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(1), pages 169-189, Winter.
  12. Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2001. "The Swiss UMTS spectrum auction flop: Bad luck or bad design?," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2001,50, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  13. Alan Beggs & Kathryn Graddy, 1997. "Declining Values and the Afternoon Effect: Evidence from Art Auctions," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 28(3), pages 544-565, Autumn.
  14. Paul Klemperer (ed.), 2000. "The Economic Theory of Auctions," Books, Edward Elgar, volume 0, number 1669, July.
  15. Paul Klemperer & Ken Binmore, 2001. "The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licences," Economics Series Working Papers 2002-W04, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. John Cable & Andrew Henley & Kevin Holland, 2002. "Pot of gold or winner's curse? An event study of the auctions of 3G mobile telephone licences in the UK," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 23(4), pages 447-462, December.
  19. Ballard, Charles L & Shoven, John B & Whalley, John, 1985. "General Equilibrium Computations of the Marginal Welfare Costs of Taxes in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 75(1), pages 128-38, March.
  20. Bikhchandani, Sushil, 1988. "Reputation in repeated second-price auctions," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 97-119, October.
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