Hutchison 3G Austria (H3G) has confirmed that it intends to appeal against the results of the recent Telekom Control Commission (TKK) ‘combinatory clock’ spectrum auction which generated bids of more than EUR2 billion (USD2.7 billion), making it Europe’s most expensive Long Term Evolution (LTE) frequency auction per head. The process was strictly enforced and ensured that none of the parties were afforded knowledge of one another’s bids, to minimise the danger of collusion.
H3G’s chief executive Jan Trionow commented: ‘The auction process was illegal in form and in substance. Drei (H3G) was considerably harmed. To simply accept this would be irresponsible.’ However, Reuters reports that the courts are expected to take around two years to rule on the appeal, meaning that the operators will go ahead with plans to build their LTE networks on the frequencies in question and accept the risk that they may be reallocated in future.
Deutsche Telekom’s T-Mobile Austria also plans a legal challenge, its chief executive has told the news agency, while A1 Telekom Austria has said that it will decide next month whether or not to appeal.