When the Indian 2G controversy blew up, I told several people who asked me about it was that there was no longer any point in debating auctions, but that we should put our energies into designing the kinds of auctions appropriate for the desired purpose. Most people (with the honorable exceptions of some of my friends and a recent commenter on this blog) accept that auctions are clean and that other methods are susceptible to manipulation. For good governance reasons alone I support auctions. That said, conducting an auction for valuable frequencies or for the right to operate a telecom business in conditions of restricted entry (and potential high profits and profile) is no simple matter. Auction design is an esoteric art.