Now that the FCC has awarded the coveted 700Mhz spectrum to Verizon Wireless, Google is lifting the “cone of silence” surrounding its bid.
As suspected, Google’s bid for the new mobile airwaves was really just a big bluff. Sure, Google did ante up the $4.6 billion it promised it would bid–if the FCC adopted Google’s conditions–but it has pretty much admitted it only really cared about the adoption of greater openness and choice for wireless customers.
Google’s top priority heading into the auction was to make sure that bidding on the so-called “C Block” reached the $4.6 billion reserve price that would trigger the important “open applications” and “open handsets” license conditions….
…Based on the way that the bidding played out, our participation in the auction helped ensure that the C Block met the reserve price. In fact, in ten of the bidding rounds we actually raised our own bid — even though no one was bidding against us — to ensure aggressive bidding on the C Block. In turn, that helped increase the revenues raised for the U.S. Treasury, while making sure that the openness conditions would be applied to the ultimate licensee.
So in effect, Verizon Wireless was played like a violin. OK, so Google had the money to buy the “C Block” if it had actually won, but in the end Google probably spent less than $1 million in legal fees and forced Verizon to spend beaucoup bucks for a spectrum that would guarantee Google’s Android gets fair treatment.
Here’s a question for you. Google has a huge war-chest, other companies are scared of Google invading their turf, so it’s in a prime position to get what it wants, without actually spending the money. So, which poker game market do you think Google should shake up next?