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German 3G auction inches closer to conclusion
Posted: 15-Aug-2000 [Source: FT]

[The bidding passed US$38.5 billion at the end of day Tuesday as participants start to scale back.]

Frankfurt -- "The auction of Germany's third generation mobile telephone licences inched closer to conclusion on Tuesday, as leading bids passed $38.5bn and the E-Plus Hutchison consortium, backed by KPN and Hutchison Whampoa, announced it was scaling back its bidding strategy.

"The consortium had been bidding for three blocks of spectrum, the maximum allowed under licence rules, but on Tuesday said it would settle for two.

"The German government is auctioning 12 blocks of radio spectrum in the auction, which began almost three weeks ago. Bidders must secure at least two of these blocks to be awarded a licence. The final number of licences and their capacity will depend on how many blocks fall into the same hands.

"E-Plus was thought to have a strong incentive to seek three licences, as KPN and Hutchison will compete against each other once the licences have been awarded.

"T-Mobil, Deutsche Telekom's mobile unit, and Mannesmann, which is owned by Vodafone AirTouch, are expected to continue seeking three licences, as their large customer bases mean a need for more bandwidth.

"This would mean that the four other contestants would be competing for three smaller licences.

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