Italian WiMAX auction down to last 16

22 Feb 2008

Italy’s Ministero delle Comunicazioni (MdC) has confirmed that Mediaset has pulled out of the sixth round of its auction of WiMAX frequencies, leaving 16 bidders to fight it out for the 35 frequencies on offer. Buying WiMAX spectrum would have been a first step into the telecoms market for Mediaset, owned by the family of former (and possibly future) prime minister and media tycoon Silvio Berlusconi. Incumbent Telecom Italia remains in the running, but two other major broadband players, Wind and Fastweb, pulled out in earlier rounds. Total bids so far have reached EUR113 million (USD166.6 million) according the the MdC. A seventh round of bidding will take place today.