Two American economists, Paul R. Milgrom and Robert B. Wilson, were awarded the Nobel in economic science on Monday for improvements to auction theory and inventions of new auction formats — innovations that have had huge practical applications when it comes to allocating scarce resources.
The pair, close collaborators who are both affiliated with Stanford University, have pioneered new auction formats that governments have since used to auction off radio frequency.
“They haven’t just profoundly changed the way we understand auctions — they have changed how things are auctioned,” said Alvin E. Roth, a Nobel laureate himself who was one of Mr. Wilson’s doctoral students. “The two of them are some of the greatest theorists living in economics today.”
Auctions help to sell a variety of products, including art, minerals and online advertising. They can also take on various characteristics: Objects can have a shared, common value for all bidders
Microsoft’s Bing search engine has beaten out competitor DuckDuckGo and will now be offered as an option for Android users during setup in select European countries, according to the results of Google’s most recent default search engine auction. DuckDuckGo, previously the most frequently offered alternative, was not pleased, and the company slammed Google’s auction process as pay-to-play.
“This EU antitrust remedy is only serving to further strengthen Google’s dominance in mobile search by boxing out alternative search engines that consumers want to use and, for those search engines that remain, taking most of their profits from the preference menu,” DuckDuckGo wrote in a blog post published yesterday. “The auction model is fundamentally flawed and must be replaced.”
Google hosts the auctions in response to a landmark 2018 European Union antitrust ruling, which fined the dominant search giant a record-breaking €4.3 billion ($5 billion) after finding Google was illegally tying its