Peter C. Cramton
The Federal Communications Commission held its first auction of radio spectrum at the Nationwide Narrowband PCS Auction in July 1994. The simultaneous multiple-round auction, which lasted five days, was an ascending bid auction in which all licenses were offered simultaneously. This paper describes the auction rules and how bidders prepared for the auction. The full history of bidding is presented. Several questions for auction theory are discussed. In the end, the government collected $617 million for ten licenses. The auction was viewed by all as a huge success an excellent example of bringing economic theory to bear on practical problems of allocating scarce resources.
Bhaskar Chakravorti, William W. Sharkey, Yossef Spiegel and Simon Wilkie
The House and Senate of the United States Congress recently passed legislation that directs the FCC to establish a system for using auctions to allocate the use of radio spectrum for personal communications services. There is a unique and unprecedented set of issues that arise in this context, which are of interest to economists, industry analysts, regulators, and policymakers. We discuss these issues and evaluate their likely impact on the outcome of the spectrum auctions. In addition, we argue that there may be pitfalls in the auction procedure adopted by the FCC, and we discuss possible alternative procedures.
This paper studies the hypothesis that large firms have more bargaining power with suppliers than do small firms, using data from the cable television industry. Employing techniques from the “new empirical lo,” the effect of owner size on marginal costs is inferred from the effect of owner size on observable product market choices. In the cable industry, the downstream firms decide how many subscriptions of cable to sell and how many channels to offer in the cable package.
Paul W. MacAvoy
Analysis of seven wholesale and retail markets for long-distance telephone services since the AT & T divestiture indicates that service provider concentration declined in the later 1980s and then stabilized in the 2990–1993 period. In addition to this stability in market shares, a number of other conditions established since 1990 have been conducive to the development of market sharing rather than significant price competition.
Shane Greenstein, Susan Mcmaster and Pablo T. Spiller
This study examines the investment patterns of all large local exchange telephone companies in the United States over time. It identifies how different regulatory environments have influenced the recent historical pattern of investment in modern infrastructure equipment. It focuses exclusively on the postdivestiture experience of local telephone exchange companies (LECs).
Stephen G. Donald and David E. M. Sappington
We investigate why different states in the United States choose different regulatory plans in their telecommunications industry. We present a simple theoretical model and an empirical analysis of the issue. We find that a state is more likely to replace rate-of-return regulation with incentive regulation when