Dutch Auction


DEFINITION of 'Dutch Auction'

1. A public offering auction structure in which the price of the offering is set after taking in all bids and determining the highest price at which the total offering can be sold. In this type of auction, investors place a bid for the amount they are willing to buy in terms of quantity and price.

2. A type of auction in which the price on an item is lowered until it gets a bid. The first bid made is the winning bid and results in a sale, assuming that the price is above the reserve price. This is in contrast to typical options, where the price rises as bidders compete.

BREAKING DOWN 'Dutch Auction'

1. If a company is using a Dutch auction IPO, potential investors enter their bids for the number of shares they want to purchase as well as the price they are willing to pay. For example, an investor may place a bid for 100 shares at $100 while another investor offers $95 for 500 shares.

Once all the bids are submitted, the allotted placement is assigned to the bidders from the highest bids down, until all of the allotted shares are assigned. However, the price that each bidder pays is based on the lowest price of all the allotted bidders, or essentially the last successful bid. Therefore, even if you bid $100 for your 1,000 shares, if the last successful bid is $80, you will only have to pay $80 for your 1,000 shares.

The U.S. Treasury (and other countries) uses a Dutch auction to sell securities. The Dutch auction also provides an alternative bidding process to IPO pricing. When Google launched its public offering, it relied on a Dutch auction to earn a fair price.

2. For example, the auctioneer starts at $2,000 for an object. If there are no bidders, the price is lowered by $100. The object will be sold once a bidder accepts the last price announced by the auctioneer, say $1,500.

  1. Smart Market

    A type of auction in which transactions are made to and from ...
  2. Sealed-Bid Auction

    A type of auction process in which all bidders simultaneously ...
  3. Auction Market

    A market in which buyers enter competitive bids and sellers enter ...
  4. Direct Public Offering - DPO

    When a company raises capital by marketing its shares directly ...
  5. Public Offering Price - POP

    The price at which new issues of stock are offered to the public ...
  6. Initial Public Offering - IPO

    The first sale of stock by a private company to the public. IPOs ...
Related Articles
  1. Investing Basics

    A Look At Primary And Secondary Markets

    Knowing how the primary and secondary markets work is key to understanding how stocks trade.
  2. Bonds & Fixed Income

    Auction Rate Securities: Bidding On The Long Run

    These investments do better with a long-term horizon. Should you buy them before they're going, going, gone?
  3. Stock Analysis

    Is the Stock Market Crashing? 5 Signs to Consider

    Learn about some signs of a potential stock market crash including a high level of margin debt, lots of IPOs, M&A activity and technical factors.
  4. Investing News

    Ferrari’s IPO: Ready to Roll or Poor Timing?

    Will Ferrari's shares move fast off the line only to sputter later?
  5. Investing Basics

    What Does Plain Vanilla Mean?

    Plain vanilla is a term used in investing to describe the most basic types of financial instruments.
  6. Options & Futures

    Pick 401(k) Assets Like A Pro

    Professionals choose the options available to you in your plan, making your decisions easier.
  7. Fundamental Analysis

    Use Options Data To Predict Stock Market Direction

    Options market trading data can provide important insights about the direction of stocks and the overall market. Here’s how to track it.
  8. Fundamental Analysis

    Top Reasons IPO Valuations Miss The Mark

    The costly services of investment banks don’t necessarily guarantee accuracy in IPO pricing.
  9. Investing

    The Best Strategies to Manage Your Stock Options

    We look at strategies to help manage taxes and the exercise of incentive and non-qualified stock options.
  10. Investing Basics

    Retirement Planning Using Long-Dated Options

    Retirement planning using high-risk options? It is possible, and studies confirm better yields than conventional methods. Here’s how.
  1. Where can I buy government bonds?

    The type of bond determines where you can purchase it, so you need to decide which type of bond you would like to purchase ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Why are the bid prices of T-bills higher than the ask prices? Aren't bids supposed ...

    Yes, you are correct that the ask price of a security should typically be higher than the bid price. This is because people ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Can mutual funds invest in options and futures?

    Mutual funds invest in not only stocks and fixed-income securities but also options and futures. There exists a separate ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Can mutual funds invest in IPOs?

    Mutual funds can invest in initial public offerings (IPOS). However, most mutual funds have bylaws that prevent them from ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. How does a forward contract differ from a call option?

    Forward contracts and call options are different financial instruments that allow two parties to purchase or sell assets ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What kind of assets can be traded on a secondary market?

    Virtually all types of financial assets and investing instruments are traded on secondary markets, including stocks, bonds, ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Hot Definitions
  1. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  2. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  3. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  4. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  5. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  6. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!