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Central Command Versus The Market

Sweden, Denmark and Finland held beauty contests for the 3G licenses while Germany, the UK, and Italy auctioned off the licenses to the highest bidder. The auctions were extremely competitive and the license costs turned out to be quite high, especially compared to the beauty contests. But does that mean that the centrally commanded beauty were contents more appropriate than market based auctions? While the auctions got out of hand and clearly bidders overpaid, they now have to work harder to make those investments generate an ROI. Whereas the others have less pressure to innovate. So while Sweden, Denmark and Finland may get 3G first, it doesn’t mean that they will deliver what people want, which no one seems to know yet anyways.

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