Telekom-Control Commission announcement: Collusive behavior may lead to termination of UMTS auction

Press release dated 24 October 2000

After a careful review of recently published statements pertaining to the UMTS frequency auction scheduled to begin on November 2, the Telekom-Control Commission considers it necessary to make the following clarifying statement:

Any and all forms of cooperation among the applicants - be it direct or indirect - with the intention of influencing the events or results of the auction are prohibited under the rules of the auction. Should the Telekom-Control Commission detect such cooperation among applicants before or during the auction, the applicants in question can be excluded from the auction procedure under § 49a Par. 7 of the Telecommunications Act (TKG). Likewise, the public announcement of bids or bidding strategies - at any stage prior to the auction procedure - can result in exclusion from the procedure.

A number of statements cited in the media, even if subsequently denied, have aroused the suspicion that the bidders are engaging in collusive behavior. Should this prove to be true, the Telekom-Control Commission will be forced to decide whether the auction can be continued as planned or has to be interrupted in order to investigate the case. In the case of collusive behavior, applicable law requires that the applicants involved be excluded from the auction or - if an efficient, fair and non-discriminatory auction procedure can not be carried out - that the entire procedure be terminated.