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The third generation (UMTS) spectrum auction in Germany

Author

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  • Grimm, Veronika
  • Riedel, Frank
  • Wolfstetter, Elmar

Abstract

The third generation UMTS auction in Germany raised an enormous amount of revenue, and at the same time achieved a more competitive market structure than other UMTS auctions in Europe. The present paper explains the design of that auction, and presents a game theoretic explanation of observed events during the crucial phase of that auction, which have puzzled several observers. In addition, the paper evaluates the merit of the German UMTS auction design, relative to the English design, that was predominantly employed in Europe.

Suggested Citation

  • 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.
  • Handle: RePEc:zbw:sfb373:200170
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Veronika Grimm & Frank Riedel & Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2000. "Implementing Efficient Market Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 269, CESifo Group Munich.
    2. 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.
    3. Elmar G. Wolfstetter, 2001. "The Swiss UMTS Spectrum Auction Flop: Bad Luck or Bad Design," CESifo Working Paper Series 534, CESifo Group Munich.
    4. Auriol, Emmanuelle & Laffont, Jean-Jacques, 1992. "Regulation by Duopoly," Journal of Economics & Management Strategy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 1(3), pages 507-533, Fall.
    5. 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, July.
    6. Menezes, Flavio M., 1996. "Multiple-unit English auctions," European Journal of Political Economy, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 671-684, December.
    7. Robert J. Weber, 1981. "Multiple-Object Auctions," Discussion Papers 496, Northwestern University, Center for Mathematical Studies in Economics and Management Science.
    8. S. Baranzoni & P. Bianchi & L. Lambertini, 2000. "Multiproduct Firms, Product Differentiation, and Market Structure," Working Papers 368, Dipartimento Scienze Economiche, Universita' di Bologna.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Gretschko, Vitali & Bichler, Martin & Janssen, Maarten, 2016. "Bargaining in Spectrum Auctions: A Review of the German Auction in 2015," Annual Conference 2016 (Augsburg): Demographic Change 145809, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.
    2. Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "How (not) to run auctions: The European 3G telecom auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 829-845, May.
    3. Hu, Luke & Wolfstetter, Elmar G., 2012. "License auctions with exit (and entry) options: Alternative remedies for the exposure problem," Discussion Paper Series of SFB/TR 15 Governance and the Efficiency of Economic Systems 394, Free University of Berlin, Humboldt University of Berlin, University of Bonn, University of Mannheim, University of Munich.
    4. 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.
    5. 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, July.
    6. Grimm, Veronika & Riedel, Frank & Wolfstetter, Elmar, 2003. "Low price equilibrium in multi-unit auctions: the GSM spectrum auction in Germany," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(10), pages 1557-1569, December.
    7. Moldovanu, Benny & Ewerhart, Christian, 2002. "A stylized model of the German UMTS auction," Papers 02-07, Sonderforschungsbreich 504.
    8. Kenneth R. CARTER, 2013. "Next Generation Spectrum Regulation:Price-Guided Radio Policy," Communications & Strategies, IDATE, Com&Strat dept., vol. 1(90), pages 41-62, 2nd quart.
    9. van Damme, Eric, 2002. "The European UMTS-auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 846-858, May.
    10. Klemperer, Paul, 2002. "How (not) to run auctions: The European 3G telecom auctions," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 46(4-5), pages 829-845, May.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    auctions; telecommunications; industrial organization; game theory;

    JEL classification:

    • D43 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
    • D44 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Auctions
    • D45 - Microeconomics - - Market Structure, Pricing, and Design - - - Rationing; Licensing
    • H20 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - General
    • L13 - Industrial Organization - - Market Structure, Firm Strategy, and Market Performance - - - Oligopoly and Other Imperfect Markets

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