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FCC Tells Bidders to Go All In

WASHINGTON—Forward auction bidders will have to go all in, starting tomorrow, Friday, Feb., 10, when the incremental price between rounds will also increase from 10 to 15 percent, the Federal Communications Commission auction team announced today. The commission boosted the activity requirement and the opening bid price per round as the auction wears on with continued activity in fewer than 20 wireless licensing areas—15 when round 51 ended at 2:40 p.m. Eastern today (See table below.)

Since Feb.1, the opening price for spectrum blocks in each wireless licensing area is set for each round by adding a fixed 10 percent increment to the previous round’s posted price. Beginning Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, the increment will change to 15 percent, the commission said.

Also beginning Friday, Feb. 10, 2017, bidders will have to go all in. The commission said that “the activity requirement will increase from 95 to 100 percent.”

“Specifically, a bidder’s activity requirement will be satisfied when the bidder has bidding activity equal to 100 percent of its current eligibility. If this requirement is met, the bidder’s eligibility will not be reduced for the next round.

Bidding in the fourth and final stage of the TV spectrum incentive forward auction has now gone on for 51 rounds.

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