Spectrum Auctions: designing markets to benefit the public, industry and the economy

Hosted by LSE School of Public Policy, LSE Press and Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation

Online public event (Zoom Webinar)


Martin Ballantyne

Martin Ballantyne

General Counsel at Ofcom

Inge Hansen

Inge Hansen

Senior Vice President Corporate Affairs at TDC NET

Paul Milgrom

Paul Milgrom

Professor at Stanford University

Geoffrey Myers

Geoffrey Myers

Visiting Professor in Practice School of Public Policy


Julia Black

Julia Black

Strategic Director of Innovation at LSE

Join us for the launch of Geoffrey Myers' new book, Spectrum Auctions: Designing Markets to Benefit the Public, Industry and the Economy.

Access to the radio spectrum is vital for modern digital communication. It is an essential component for smartphone capabilities, the Cloud, the Internet of Things, autonomous vehicles, and multiple other new technologies. Governments use spectrum auctions to decide which companies should use what parts of the radio spectrum. Successful auctions can fuel rapid innovation in products and services, unlock substantial economic benefits, build comparative advantage across all regions, and create billions of dollars of government revenues. Poor auction strategies can leave bandwidth unsold and delay innovation, sell national assets to firms too cheaply, or create uncompetitive markets with high mobile prices and patchy coverage that stifles economic growth.

Corporate bidders regularly complain that auctions raise their costs, while government critics argue that insufficient revenues are raised. The cross-national record shows many examples of both highly successful auctions and miserable failures.Drawing on experience from the UK and other countries, senior regulator Geoffrey Myers explains how to optimise the regulatory design of auctions, from initial planning to final implementation. 

More about our speakers and chair

Martin Ballantyne is Ofcom’s General Counsel and Legal Group Director. He has been a Legal Director in Ofcom’s Legal Group since 2011, and provides advice for all policy areas within Ofcom, as well as overseeing litigation when our decisions are challenged in the courts.

Inge Hansen is Senior Vice President, Head of Regulatory Affairs at TDC NET. Previously, Inge was Director of Regulation, at BT in the UK and Director of Regulation and Spectrum at EE, the UK mobile operator.

Paul Milgrom is the Shirley and Leonard Ely professor of Humanities and Sciences in the department of economics and professor by courtesy at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and director of the Market Design program at SIEPR.

Geoffrey Myers is Visiting Professor in Practice in the School of Public Policy and the Department of Government. He teaches public management, regulation and other public policy topics on degree courses including Master of Public Policy, MSc in Regulation, and Executive Master of Public Administration. His current area of research is the design and implementation of radio spectrum auctions.

Julia Black is Strategic Director of Innovation and Professor of Law at LSE.She has had a British Academy / Leverhulme Trust Senior Research Fellowship, been a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sydney and at All Souls College, Oxford, and in 2014 was the Sir Frank Holmes Visiting Professor in Public Policy at the University of Victoria, Wellington.

More about this event

Spectrum Auctions is open access and can be dowloaded here.

The LSE School of Public Policy (@LSEPublicPolicy) equips you with the skills and ideas to transform people and societies. It is an international community where ideas and practice meet. Their approach creates professionals with the ability to analyse, understand and resolve the challenges of contemporary governance.

Launched in May 2018, LSE Press (@LSEPress) supports the promotion of high-quality social science research and enables wide public access through the use of open, digital publication methods. We publish books and journals and encourage and facilitate innovative and experimental publications.

The Centre for Analysis of Risk and Regulation (CARR) is an interdisciplinary research unit, whose core intellectual work focuses on the organisational and institutional settings for risk management and regulatory practices.

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