Synergies in Wireless Telephony: Evidence from the Broadband PCS Auctions

Lawrence M. Ausubel, Peter Cramton, R. Preston McAfee, and John McMillan , Journal of Economics and Management Strategy 6(3) , 497-527 , 1997.

We examine bid data from the first two broadband PCS spectrum auctions for evidence of value synergies. First, we estimate a benchmark regression for the determinants of final auction prices. Then, we include variables reflecting the extent to which bidders ultimately won or already owned the adjacent wireless properties. Consistent with geographic synergies in an ascending-bid auction, prices were higher when the highest-losing bidder had adjacent licenses. The footprints of winning bidders suggest that they were often successful in realizing these synergies.

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