Optimal Auctions Blog

Understanding the Rules of the FCC Incentive Auction

Posted by Mike on October 23, 2014 Understanding the Rules of the FCC Incentive Auction

Wondering how the FCC's incentive auction will work, and not getting enough information from the regular news sites about it? Curious about whether the rules favor AT&T and Verizon, or T-Mobile and Sprint? Asking how the sell-back of spectrum works with the broadcasters?

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Throttling AT&T and Verizon

Posted by Mike on May 7th, 2013 Throttling AT&T and Verizon

If the FCC were to limit the participation of the two heavyweight wireless providers in the US (AT&T and Verizon) in the upcoming incentive spectrum auction (planned for 2014), would it hurt the country, by missing out on potential revenue, or would it help the country, by promoting competition and allowing new participants into the US mobile phone market. Optimal Auctions discusses this issue, and weighs the pros and cons of both sides.

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Designing a Better Google IPO Auction

Posted by Mike on August 16th, 2012 Designing a Better Google IPO Auction

On the very first day of microeconomics you learn that demand is represented by a curve. If something costs a lot, you want a low quantity of it, and if it costs less, you will want more of it. So if every Intro to Micro student can grasp this concept, why do Dutch Auction IPOs like Google's get it so wrong by making the bidders choose a single demand point with their bid? Demand is a curve, not a single point! You'll see why this mistake led to the big first day price pop of Google, and see just how much money Google left on the table during its IPO.

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The Difference Between Clock and SMR Auctions

Posted by Mike on July 31st, 2012 The Difference Between Clock and SMR Auctions

Throughout our dealings with clients the same question always comes up - "What is the difference between a Clock auction and an SMR auction?". It's an understandably important question. Sometimes the difference between the two auction formats can be subtle for those unfamiliar with auction design. However, by using a simple apples vs. oranges comparison, the main difference between the two should become obvious, and also show you the strengths of each auction format.

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Designing a Better Nortel Patent Auction

Posted by Mike on July 24th, 2012 Designing a Better Nortel Patent Auction

It's been about one year since the Nortel Bankruptcy Patent Auction finished, and during that time the value of Intellectual Property has skyrocketed, especially technology-related IP. This ground-breaking auction set the precedence for how much these patents are worth, and which companies would be controlling the future of these patents. But, when we take a look at the auction itself and how it was structured, we can see many critical mistakes - mistakes that could be mispricing all patents currently being traded around the world.

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Getting to Know Dutch Auctions

Posted by Mike on June 24th, 2012 Getting To Know Dutch Auctions

What do you really know about a Dutch Auction? The history and origin of the Dutch Auction is actually a fascinating look at many of the same economic themes and issues we look at today. Microeconomic themes like supply and demand, finance themes like futures and options, and auction theory themes like first price and efficient pricing all were explored in 1600's Holland, hundreds of years before they were considered the science they are today.

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