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FM radio e-auction culminates with frequency allocation
MUMBAI: The e-auction of the first batch of private FM radio Phase III channels comprising 135 channels in 69 existing Phase II cities finally completed today with the completion of the frequency allocation stage.
The e-auction of the first batch consisted of the channel allocation stage and the frequency allocation stage. After the completion of the channel allocation stage on 8 September 2015 with 125 rounds of bidding spread over 32 days, the frequency allocation stage commenced on 9 September at 10 am.
In this stage, three rounds took place each having duration of half an hour. There was no time gap between the two consecutive rounds.
In the frequency allocation stage, the provisional winning bidders were allowed to select FM frequency for the winning channel(s) from the frequencies already identified in the respective cities and as mentioned in the notice inviting applications (NIA).
Frequency selection preference was based on the ranking of the bidders wherein the bidder with rank 1 had the first preference to choose from the frequencies already identified. The government is expected to notify the list of successful bidders by tomorrow.
At the end of the e-auction, 97 channels in 56 cities became provisionally winning with cumulative provisional winning price of about Rs 1,156.9 crore against their aggregate reserve price of about Rs 459.8 crore.
The current auction is indicative of the future growth of the private FM radio sector. This is the first time that private FM channels have been offered through simultaneous multiple round ascending (SMRA) e-auction. This auction design has enabled bidders to take informed decisions while placing bids and consider alternatives dynamically.
It is also interesting that out of the 15 channels in J&K and the NE states, 12 channels have got provisional winners, with the city of Guwahati getting a provisional winning price more than 10 times its reserve price.
In order to enhance transparency and remove barriers to participation in the e-auction, the government has appointed an independent external monitor in consultation with the Central Vigilance Commission.