Whew! Google Saved by the Highest Bidder

Search giant OK with not winning FCC spectrum auction
By Laila Weir,  Newser User
Posted Apr 4, 2008 1:02 PM CDT
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin takes part in an industry insider session at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas in this Jan. 8. 2008 file photo.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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(Newser) – Google nearly became the unenthused owner of a $4.71 billion slice of wireless airwaves in a recent Federal Communications Commission auction, the New York Times reports. Its bid was part of a deal with the FCC to open some spectrum to third-party services, but for much of the bidding, Google had the top price—until Verizon swooped in with the $4.74 billion winner.

“There were definitely some people at the company that had cold feet,” a Google staffer admits, but the search giant also thought it was “picking up something at a great price.” Winning would have made the spectrum Google’s biggest-ever investment and forced it into some role in the wireless business; losing means the openness Google was shooting for all along.