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July 27, 1994

HIGH BIDDING AT US PERSONAL COMMUNICATIONS LICENCE AUCTION

By CBR Staff Writer

By the time bidding for US Personal Communications Services licences ended for the first day, the prices offered for the 10 nationwide franchises on offer totalled more than $196m with no licences awarded – the first round of bids was so high that it shocked both government officials and spectators, according to Dow Jones & Co: leading bids stood at $30m each for five licences, $10m each for four licences and $6,825,000 for the tenth one; the bidding process is extremely high-tech – except that bidders have to be present at a hotel ballroom in Washington to enter their bids on one of 20 computers, each shrouded behind blue curtains like polling booths – and bids are then carried over a high-speed telephone line to a computer in New York City; the bidding for the 10 licences had reached $265m by mid-day, with feverish bidding continuing.

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