FCC spectrum auction breaks all records
November 24, 2014
By Chris Forrester
November 21st saw the 27th and latest round of the FCC’s spectrum auction topping a spectacular $33 billion, and up from $24 billion just two days earlier. The ‘Advanced Wireless Services-3’ auction has been going on for seven working days, and quickly went through the anticipated $10 billion initial target. AWC-3 is the largest slice of US spectrum to come onto the market since 2008.
Analysts are reporting that Charlie Ergen’s Dish Network might have bid more than $10 billion in its quest to win access to 15 MHz of spectrum, and his attempt to dominate the spectrum auction as far as cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and San Francisco.
Remarkably, even if Ergen loses the auction (or withdraws in favour of higher bidders) he cannot lose insofar that the FCC auction has demonstrated the huge value in terms of the spectrum that Egen/Dish already owns. Some analysts reckon that it improves Ergen’s share value (on a per share basis) of more than $50 a share.
However, November 21st reportedly saw the bidding action slow as the prices proved too rich for some players. Nevertheless, widespread reports suggest that the heavyweight players, including Ergen, but also including Verizon, Sprint and AT&T are still battling with one another to acquire spectrum.