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Some Observations on the British and German 3G Telecom Auctions

  • Klemperer, Paul

I suggest explanations for the apparently puzzling bidding in the year 2000 British and German 3G telecom auctions. Relative-performance maximisation may have been important, but the outcome of the British auction seems to have been efficient. This paper bundles my comments on two papers presented at the December 2001 CES Ifo conference on the telecom auctions. (For those readers new to the subject, I recommend first reading ‘How (Not) to Run Auctions: the European 3G Telecom Auctions’ European Economic Review 2002 and at and ‘The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licenses’ Economic Journal 2002 and also at

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Paper provided by C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers in its series CEPR Discussion Papers with number 3605.

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Date of creation: Oct 2002
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Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:3605
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  1. Ken Binmore & Paul Klemperer, 2001. "The Biggest Auction Ever: the Sale of the British 3G Telecom Licenses," Economics Papers 2002-W4, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford, revised 01 Sep 2001.
  2. Paul Klemperer, 2003. "Using and Abusing Economic Theory," Economics Series Working Papers 2003-W02, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  3. Paul Klemperer, 2000. "Why Every Economist Should Learn Some Auction Theory," Microeconomics 0004009, EconWPA.
  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. Moldovanu, Benny & Ewerhart II, Christian, 2002. "A Stylized Model of the German UMTS Auction," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 02-07, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  6. Jeremy Bulow & Paul Klemperer, 1994. "Auctions vs. Negotiations," NBER Working Papers 4608, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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