Feeds

BT may be investigated for 3G auction-rigging

Typical arrogance or government frustration? The latter most likely

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

The Dutch competition authority NMa is pondering whether to investigate BT over possible rigging of the Netherlands 3G mobile licence auction.

BT was present in the form of subsidiary Telfort and held talks with another bidder, Versatel, on the first day of the process - something that was against the rules. Telfort eventually won one of the five licences for £255 million when Versatel pulled out. Starting with eight bidders, Versatel was the last to leave and the day before had bid £232 million for licence D - the same one that Telfort eventually won.

On top of this, BT is also under review by Italian authorities for its 3G auction. That auction ended when the Blu consortium, which included BT, pulled out suddenly. It had started with eight bidders for five licences also.

While BT isn't exactly the most honourable company, and, let's remember, we're talking about millions and millions of pounds, you have to take these investigations with a big pinch of salt. Both the Netherlands and Italy stood out among the countries auctioning 3G licences because they expected far more in revenue than they received.

The Netherlands government (and remember the revenue from the auction is all big pile of free money to the government) said before its auction it expected an average of £475 million for each licence i.e. £2.4 billion in total. In the end it got just £1.73 billion.

Italy's failure to achieve what it expected is even more stark. It reckoned it would get £20.8 billion. It got just £7.1 billion.

It must also make their blood boil when they look at the UK and German chancellors, who pocketed £22 billion and £32 billion respectively.

Now, is it any wonder that the Dutch and Italian governments have launched enquiries into the process when extra billions of pounds have just failed to materialise? (Answer: No). ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
'Urika': Cray unveils new 1,500-core big data crunching monster
6TB of DRAM, 38TB of SSD flash and 120TB of disk storage
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
SDI wars: WTF is software defined infrastructure?
This time we play for ALL the marbles
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Oracle hires former SAP exec for cloudy push
'We know Larry said cloud was gibberish, and insane, and idiotic, but...'
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.