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Brazil, Italy Cos. Bid for Wireless
Posted: 13-Feb-2001 [Source: Associated Press]

[Successful bidder Telecom Italia plan to eventually cover all of Latin America.]

by Michael Astor, Rio De Janeiro -- "Mobile phone companies from Brazil and Italy snapped up three new licenses to use Brazil's wireless spectrum, bidding a combined $1.32 billion in Tuesday's auction.

"Groups led by Brazil's Telemar and Italy's Telecom Italia were the only bidders for the licenses, which cover different areas of Brazil already served by rival wireless operators.

"For a few tense moments it seemed the auction might not come off, as many prospective bidders dropped out. Barely two weeks ago, an auction for three similar licenses was postponed indefinitely when no one submitted a valid bid.

"But on Tuesday, the final bids were some 20 percent higher than the government's minimum asking price of $1.095 billion.

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