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The Efficiency of the FCC Spectrum Auctions

Peter Cramton ()

Papers of Peter Cramton from University of Maryland, Department of Economics - Peter Cramton

Abstract: From July 1994 to July 1996, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) conducted nine spectrum auctions, raising about $20 billion for the U.S. Treasury. The auctions assigned thousands of licenses to hundreds of firms. Were the auctions efficient? Did they award the licenses to the firms best able to turn the spectrum into valuable services for onsumers? There is substantial evidence that the FCC's simultaneous ascending auction worked well. It raised large revenues. It revealed critical information in the process of bidding and gave bidders the flexibility to adjust strategies in response to new information. As a result, similar licenses sold for similar prices, and bidders were able to piece together sensible sets of licenses.

Keywords: Auctions; Multiple-Item Auctions; Spectrum Auctions (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: D44 L96 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 11 pages
Date: 1998-07-27, Revised 1998-07-27
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (19) Track citations by RSS feed

Published in Journal of Law and Economics, 41:2, October 1998, pages 727-736.

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