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Italy may raise UMTS sale price after UK auction
Posted: 16-Apr-2000 [Source: Reuters]

[The UK auction results have caused Italy's Communications Undersecretary to expect higher prices for that country's spectrum allocation according to a weekend newspaper interview.]

Milan -- "Italy may raise the price of five new generation cellphone licences to be awarded later this year after a similar British auction attracted much higher than expected bids, Communications Undersecretary Michele Lauria said in a newspaper interview on Sunday.

"Lauria told Il Giornale newspaper that he had always considered the original estimate of the total sale price of the UMTS licences at three to four trillion lire ($1.5-2.0 billion) as too low.

"An auction of UMTS licences in Britain has so far seen bids amounting to more than 20 billion pounds ($31.8 billion), almost seven times the amount experts think the Treasury had expected.

"Asked if the Italian government would no longer be happy with three to four trillion lire, Lauria said: "I don't want to deny anything, especially as I have always been the one to say that the preliminary figure was too low."

"When asked about suggestions that the government may aim for eight to 10 trillion lire, Lauria said no decision had yet been taken.

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