The 2GHz radio spectrum auction has been suspended until after the government announces its response to the Ministerial Inquiry into Telecommunications.
The auction will resume 24 hours after the response is announced in the week beginning December 18.
In calling a halt to the auction on Friday, Communications Minister Paul Swain said some bidders had indicated that the government’s telecommunications decisions may affect the value of spectrum bids.
He said that under current rules it was possible for bidders to keep the auction going, so that bidding between now and the telecommunications announcements could become increasingly meaningless.
Swain also said the Ministry of Economic Development would consult with bidders on further changes to the auction rules "to bring the auction to a quick conclusion after it restarts."
Round 380 of the auction concluded on Friday with total bids at $145m. Totals have been as high as $180 million.