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License Auctions and Market Structure

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  • Hakenes, Hendrik

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

  • Schnabel, Isabel

    () (Sonderforschungsbereich 504)

Abstract

We analyze the interplay between license auctions and market structure in a model with several incumbents and several potential entrants. The focus is on the competitiveness induced by the number of auctioned licenses. Moreover, we study how the auction format affects the incentives for explicit or tacit collusion among incumbents. A crucial role is played by the relation between the number of incumbents and the number of licenses. If the number of incumbents is greater than the number of new licenses, we show that auctioning more licenses need not result in greater competitiveness. If the number of licenses exceeds the number of incumbents, we display plausible conditions under which all incumbents get a license. Finally, we suggest a positive role for some auction formats in which the number of licenses is endogenously determined at the auction. We illustrate some results with examples drawn from European license auctions for 3G mobile telephony.

Suggested Citation

  • Hakenes, Hendrik & Schnabel, Isabel, 2000. "License Auctions and Market Structure," Sonderforschungsbereich 504 Publications 01-21, Sonderforschungsbereich 504, Universität Mannheim;Sonderforschungsbereich 504, University of Mannheim.
  • Handle: RePEc:xrs:sfbmaa:01-21
    Note: We are grateful for many helpful comments made by the participants at the conference ”Auctions and Market Structure” ,organized by the University of Mannheim, July 2000. Jehiel: ENPC, CERAS, 28 rue des Saints-Peres, 75007 Paris and UCL, London; je-hiel@enpc.fr; Moldovanu: Department of Economics, University of Mannheim, 68131 Mannheim; mold@pool.uni-mannheim.de
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. John C. Harsanyi & Reinhard Selten, 1988. "A General Theory of Equilibrium Selection in Games," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262582384, January.
    2. McAfee, R Preston & Williams, Michael A, 1992. "Horizontal Mergers and Antitrust Policy," Journal of Industrial Economics, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(2), pages 181-187, June.
    3. Gilbert, Richard J & Newbery, David M G, 1982. "Preemptive Patenting and the Persistence of Monopoly," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 72(3), pages 514-526, June.
    4. Lopomo, Giuseppe & Brusco, Sandro, 1999. "Collusion via signaling in open ascending auctions with multiple objects and complementarities," DEE - Working Papers. Business Economics. WB 6518, Universidad Carlos III de Madrid. Departamento de Economía de la Empresa.
    5. Robert Wilson, 1979. "Auctions of Shares," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 93(4), pages 675-689.
    6. R. Preston McAfee & John McMillan, 1996. "Analyzing the Airwaves Auction," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 10(1), pages 159-175, Winter.
    7. Krishna, Kala, 1993. "Auctions with Endogenous Valuations: The Persistence of Monopoly Revisited," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 83(1), pages 147-160, March.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D62 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Externalities
    • L14 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Transactional Relationships; Contracts and Reputation

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