Updated: May 9, 2012 (Initial publication: April 12, 2012)

Breaking news

The Italian Ministry of Economic Development said the frequencies of terrestrial digital television will be auctioned


On April 10, 2012, the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Mr Corrado Passera, declared that the frequencies of digital terrestrial television (DTT) have a significant economic value and that it is not fair that the State, which owns it, gives them for nothing. This is why Mr Corrado Passera will implement the policy decision announced by the Council President, Mario Monti, who want to organise auctions to sell these frequencies to the highest bidder. "The auctioning will be made by frequency packages". The model of auctioning will be the same as that followed for the 4th generation mobile phone frequencies. In France, the frequencies are sold in telephony, but not in audiovisual material.

© thejournalofregulation

Remember that the politician Mario Monti was a Professor of Economics. It does not therefore forget this basic principle: what has value and leaves a heritage to enter to another must justify in exchange for the payment of a sum of money. The fact that the property which has value is an immaterial (the frequency) is indifferent, because the resource is rare.

The fact that the first heritage is the one of the State is irrelevant: the initial membership in the public domain, which could justify free for use, does not free by the assignment. Economic theory therefore found intuition: the assignment of a resource of value cannot be graciously offered for free.

Obviously we think that the necessary frequencies for mobile phones were sold at high price and we don’t know what would break he analogy between the television and the telephone, at the age of the technological convergence.

Therefore, we retrospectively wonder why in France the State concedes free of charge the frequencies of digital terrestrial television (DTT). Is the State act in this way in order to give a chance to all ? Is the State act in this way to multiply the entries, and then leaving the market do ex post a selection by the hearing? The volunteer State is often under a mask of many arrangements.

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