FCC retains auction experts; former chairman Hundt on advisor board of lead company

The FCC said March 27, 2012, it was retaining three companies to advise it on incentive auctions — one of which lists on its board of advisors former FCC chairman Reed Hundt, who said during a speech at Columbia University two years ago that while heading the agency he decided to “favor the Internet over broadcast.”

Hundt, who served as chairman from 1993 to 1997, is on the board of Auctionomics, chaired by Paul Milgrom, who helped design spectrum auctions implemented during his chairmanship. Julius Genachowski, current FCC chairman, served as FCC Chief Counsel to Hundt while chairman.

“Our plan is to ensure that incentive auctions serve as an effective market mechanism to unleash more spectrum for mobile broadband and help address the looming spectrum crunch,” said Genachowski in a press release announcing the move.

Besides Auctionomics, the commission has retained Power Auctions and MicroTech, which also will provide input on the auctions.

Auctionomics chairman Milgrom, the Ely Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Economics at Stanford University, will lead the team of auction consultants. According to the commission, Milgrom is “widely regarded as one of the foremost thinkers in auction theory and design.”

Jonathan Levin and Ilya Segal, also with Auctionomics and both professors at Stanford University, will work with Milgrom. Levin is the chair of the Department of Economics at Stanford.

Lawrence Ausubel, a professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, leads Power Auctions, which is based in Washington, D.C. Power Auctions currently provides spectrum auction design and software services to the Canadian and Australian governments.

MicroTech will provide security, systems development and implementation support directly tied to its cloud-computing solutions.