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Of Course Google Lost the Spectrum Auctions!

Posted by: Rob Hof on March 20, 2008

I always thought it was crazy talk, all this speculation that Google was going to run a wireless network by buying up billions of dollars worth of spectrum. Why would it endanger those juicy margins with a marginally profitable business when it pretty much got what it wanted from the Federal Communications Commission: the requirement that wireless subscribers be able to use any hardware or run any software on whatever service is developed on the spectrum?

Turns out it was indeed crazy talk. Verizon Wireless walked away with the lion’s share of the spectrum getting freed up by the move to digital TV next February. And I bet Google’s very happy that it didn’t have to spend $9.6 billion, which will buy a heckuva lot of Web 2.0 companies or even bigger prey. Sure seems like the game theorists Google apparently hired did their job. Or at least the auctioneers at the FCC.

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Reader Comments


March 25, 2008 09:14 PM

Google did not appear at any time keen on buying up spectrum - they only wanted openness. In fact it would be counter intuitive for Google to get into spectrum, devices and the like. They want to 'search' and 'serve' ads no matter where and no matter what device. As always, they have got what they wanted. And hey, as a heavy mobile user, I am waiting for all this 'stone age' concept of licenced-mobile-devices to vanish from America.

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BusinessWeek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, Douglas MacMillan, and Spencer Ante dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. One of the first mainstream media tech blogs, Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.



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