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The FCC Spectrum Auctions: An Early Assessment

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Abstract

This paper analyzes six spectrum auctions conducted by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) from July 1994 to May 1996. These auctions were simultaneous multiple-round auctions in which collections of licenses were auctioned simultaneously. This auction form proved remarkably successful. Similar items sold for similar prices and bidders successfully formed efficient aggregations of licenses. Bidding behavior differed substantially in the auctions. The extent of bidder competition and price uncertainty played an important role in determining behavior. Bidding credits and installment payments also played a major role in several of the auctions.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Cramton, 1997. "The FCC Spectrum Auctions: An Early Assessment," Papers of Peter Cramton 97jemsfcc, University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton, revised 12 Jul 1998.
  • Handle: RePEc:pcc:pccumd:97jemsfcc
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Auctions; Spectrum Auctions; Multiple-Round Auctions; Efficiency;

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
    • L96 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Telecommunications

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