An Experimental Test of Design Alternatives for the British 3G / UMTS Auction
In spring 2000, the British government auctioned off licences for Third Generation mobile telecommunications services. In the preparation of the auction, two designs involving each a hybrid of an English and a sealed-bid auction were suggested by the government: a discriminatory and a uniform price variant. We report an experiment on these two designs, and also compare the results to those with a pure English auction. Both hybrids are similar in efficiency, revenue differences disappear as bidders get experienced. Compared to the discriminatory format, the pure English auction gives new entrants better chances.
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