The further hiccups in C-block bidding we predicted yesterday turned out to be right on the button. The competitors for the nationwide open-access license didn’t submit bids in today’s opening round, leaving the license at its $2.98 billion provisional amount at the end of round 9. The lack of activity not only slows down the license’s advance to the $4.6 billion reserve price, which would unlock Google’s coveted open-access provision, but it also serves to lower the minimum bid for the next round from $3.42 billion to $3.38 billion.
If the stalemate continues in upcoming rounds, the minimum bid could continue to drop, lessening the likelihood that the $4.6 billion reserve price for the C block will be met today. The bidders have already taken that tack once in round 6 slowing the pace of bidding by a single round. The auction is in only its second week, though, and there’s still plenty of time for bidders to push that $4.6 billion threshold. To put it in perspective, the auction has already garnered $6.53 billion in high bids. The C-block license accounts for nearly half that amount.