Shin Kong team drops out of 4G license auction

NULLIFICATION::The team was disqualified after it waived its right to bid four times. It said the bidding had gone beyond its price range and called the auction unfair

By Shelley Shan  /  Staff reporter

Wed, Sep 11, 2013 - Page 3

The management team backed by the Shin Kong Group yesterday became the first bidder to withdraw from the auction of the nation’s new fourth-generation (4G) telecom service licenses.

According to the National Communications Commission (NCC), the team waived its right to bid four times during the auction, which has gone on for six days.

According to the Regulations Governing Mobile Telecommunications Businesses (行動寬頻業務管理規則) the team’s qualification to bid was nullified, the commission said.

The team participated in the bidding as a subsidiary of the Shinkong Synthetic Fibers Corp.

The bidding price exceeded the company’s planned price range, and it decided to withdraw after conferring with the group’s higher management on Monday, it said. The team also said that the auction was unfair to industry newcomers.

A story in the Chinese-language Commercial Times had earlier said that one of the bidders would soon drop out of the race, although it did not name names.

The commission had absolutely no knowledge that the team would quit, commission spokesperson Yu Hsiao-cheng (虞孝成) said.

“The right to bid is in the hands of the bidders. The team probably withdrew because the bidding did not go as they planned,” Yu said.

So far the bidders have focused on just a few of the frequency blocks, which has created an unbalanced situation, Yu said.

The bidders include Chunghwa Telecom; Asia Pacific Telecom; Taiwan Mobile; Far EasTone Telecommunications; Ambit Microsystems Corp, a unit of Hon Hai Group; and the company backed by Ting Hsin International Group. They continued to vie yesterday for the radio frequencies in the 700MHz, 900MHz and 1,800MHz spectrums.

None of the bidders placed a bid yesterday in Round 59, the first time this happened in the auction. The auction would end if this happens again, the commission said.