Verizon may have knocked out Google spectrum bid

    February 6, 2008
    WebProNews Staff

Through several side bids for pieces of spectrum, Verizon may have outbid the top bid for the desired 700MHz C block auction and pushed it into a new scenario.

The bids are anonymous, with penalties for collusion or otherwise discussing the bidding taking place for the FCC auction taking place for the 700MHz spectrum. It may not matter if Forbes is correct in its assumption that Verizon engaged in a different strategy:

But Verizon likely didn’t bid for the C block directly, analysts said. Instead, it likely bid on a host of less expensive regional slices of spectrum and made sure that the total amount was more than what was bid for the C block. It’s a savvy strategy, because under FCC rules, if the regional bids top the bids for the C block, that block must be split up and apportioned to the highest bidder or bidders. By the end of Tuesday, the regional bids added up to $4.74 billion, about $30 million more than the current total for the C block.

Forbes writer Elizabeth Woyke also mentioned the highly misunderstood concept of “open access.” Many people have misconstrued this once the C block bidding passed the $4.6 billion reserve price.

We’ve mentioned this before on WebProNews and we’ll say it again here. The two provisions of openness that became conditions for the winner of the C block auction – open devices and open applications – have nothing to do with open access.

People already enjoy the right to bring unlocked open devices to a wireless carrier like Verizon. They still have to pay to access the network. The same thing goes for applications. Sure you can grab a free copy of Opera Mini or Gmail For Mobile, but you still have to pay for data access  on the wireless network.