Geoffrey Myers argues that the reputation of the auction regulator can be thought of as 'essential market infrastructure.'
Spectrum auctions can work out broadly as expected, be highly successful, or go embarrassingly wrong. What is often not appreciated is the extent to which the quality of institutions, and especially the reputation of the regulator running the auction, can affect its outcome. Market participants expect an auction to be run with integrity, honesty and fairness.
The cultural context for auctions is important. In countries with weaker institutions or low levels of trust in public agencies, the regulator can struggle to develop the reputation necessary to hold auctions that are regarded as safe and secure by market participants.
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