Yet WR Hambrecht, which launched its system in April 1999, has conducted only seven IPOs based on such auctions.
And many analysts question whether the government could, or should, get into the business of mandating a specific IPO system.
Many company executives prefer the current IPO marketing system for a number of reasons, including their belief that buyers lined up by brokerages are more likely to hold the shares longer.
Other ideas to improve the IPO process include opening road shows to all investors, strengthening the firewall between brokerage analyst reports and investment banking income, and even forcing company executives to offer some of their own shares in their IPO sale, thereby boosting their interest in getting a high initial price.
But few experts expect wholesale change in the foreseeable future.
"If change is going to come, it's going to come because small investors who are frozen out of the process somehow generate a large enough voice to force that change," Aggarwal said. "I'm just dubious that's going to happen."