Old 01-31-2008, 06:20 AM Offline   #1 (permalink)



 
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Default Spectrum Auction Could Be A Game of Chicken

Ardvark writes "Google promised some time ago to bid at least the reserve price for the C block of 700Mhz spectrum if the FCC accepted its demand for an open access rule for devices using the band, which the FCC did over Verizon's objections. If the reserve price is not met the rule will be dropped and the block re-auctioned. It appears now that bidding has stalled just short of the reserve price. It's assumed that Google has no interest in becoming a cell phone company and with a recession looming the 700MHz spectrum now seems worth a whole lot less. If Google's strategy was to force the bidding above the reserve but still lose the auction, Verizon could be calling their bluff, threatening them to live up to their word and buy what to Google could be the equivalent of a $4.6 billion 'doohickey.' What would happen if Google ended up with a nationwide block of spectrum by accident? Google could sell the spectrum to Sprint in return for more data (as opposed to voice) friendly WIMAX licenses. That would likely be a substantial loss, as it appears that the D block isn't going to hit it's reserve and will have to be re-auctioned at a cheaper price later. Google phone anyone?"Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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