T-Mobile US Inc is buying wireless airwave licenses from Verizon Wireless to improve its high-speed network in a $3.3 billion deal and said it hopes to follow up with more spectrum purchases...
T-Mobile, which may itself be an acquisition target of Dish or Sprint Corp, also said on Monday that it hopes to buy additional spectrum in government auctions at the end of 2014 and in 2015...
While they said the spectrum was crucial for T-Mobile US, some analysts noted that the price was steep at a 26 percent premium over what Verizon had paid for it at an auction several years ago...
T-Mobile said it could offer services as soon as the fourth quarter using the new spectrum licenses, which cover more than 150 million people in nine of the top 10 U.S. markets and 21 of the top 30 markets including New York, Atlanta and Los Angeles.
It appears to me that:
a) Verizon did reasonably but not spectacularly well out of this, having made a windfall gain of $700 million on an investment of $2,600 "several years ago". They would have made that gain even if they had never sent up a single satellite or installed a single phone mast.
b) These companies appear to be heartily indifferent whether they acquire 'new' spectrum from the government at an auction or 'second hand' spectrum from a previous winning bidder.
c) The prices paid at auction seem reasonable, as this is now an established market.
d) The value of the licences are about $20 for each person in the geographical area covered.
My question for Faux Libs is, would you count payments to the government at the auctions as a tax, and if so, would you also count the payment from T-Mobile to Verizon as a privately collected tax?
Bonus round: who created that value of $20 per person? The people themselves, the government or the telecoms companies?