Google Accused of 'Gaming' FCC Auction

Lawmakers say firm made fake bids to trigger open access
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 16, 2008 3:31 PM CDT
FCC Chairman Kevin Martin takes part in an industry insider session at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in this Jan. 8. 2008 file photo.    (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
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(Newser) – Republican lawmakers are charging that Google manipulated an FCC bandwidth auction to get a free ride on the airwaves, PC World reports. The internet giant is accused of bidding purely to bump up the price to a level where rules trigger open access—and then walking away, leaving Verizon to win the auction. The auction of 700MHz spectrums raised less than had been expected.

Google has said its priority in the auction was to make certain the open-access rules came into play. "I suppose we cannot blame them for trying to get free access to the spectrum," one Republican told the House. "What is more concerning is that even though we knew what they were doing, we let them maneuver this way."