The Biggest Auction Ever: The Sale of the British 3g Telecom Licences

33 Pages Posted: 28 Jan 2002

See all articles by Paul Klemperer

Paul Klemperer

University of Oxford - Department of Economics; Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR)

Kenneth Binmore

University College London - Department of Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: September 2001

Abstract

This paper reviews the part played by economists in organizing the British third-generation mobile-phone licence auction that concluded on 27 April 2000. It raised 22.5 billion pounds ($34 billion or 2.5% of GNP) and was widely described at the time as the biggest auction ever.

We discuss the merits of auctions versus "beauty contests", the aims of the auction, the problems we faced, the auction designs we considered, and the mistakes that were made.

Keywords: Auctions, Telecommunications, SpectrumAuctions, Mobile Phones, 3G, MTS, Bidding

JEL Classification: D44, L96

Suggested Citation

Klemperer, Paul and Binmore, Kenneth, The Biggest Auction Ever: The Sale of the British 3g Telecom Licences (September 2001). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=297879 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.297879

Paul Klemperer (Contact Author)

University of Oxford - Department of Economics ( email )

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Oxford, OX1 3BJ
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+44 1865 278 588 (Phone)
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Centre for Economic Policy Research (CEPR) ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Kenneth Binmore

University College London - Department of Economics ( email )

Gower Street
London WC1E 6BT, WC1E 6BT
United Kingdom
+44 20 7380 7804 (Phone)

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