back to article Google ponies up $4.6bn for wireless spectrum

Google's riches are exceeded only by its cheek. When the Federal Communications Commission auctions off the coveted 700-MHz wireless spectrum, the search giant has said it will lay down a bid of $4.6bn - provided the auction is handled exactly the way Google wants it handled. Recently vacated by television channels making the …


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  1. Elijah

    Google Rules!!

    This news is so exciting.

    Can't use google Maps on Verizon cell phones and can't use the fast Gmail on Verizon cell phones.

    Verizon is so money hungry that it is just silly. I love Google but hate Verizon. I would rather give Google my $300/month for cell and data than Verizon any day!!

    Google is truly out to help the world and Verizon is only interested in one thing, $$$.

    I love reading all the news about Google! Like the fact that they just covered their Googleplex headquarters in Solar Panels and they are going to start handing out money for Philanthropic views @, and their recharge it hybrid car program and so much more!! I just wish Google would check out Dr. Fuhrman's info on health and we would darn near cure/prevent common disease (Heart Disease, Cancer, Diabetes, Auto-Immune etc. as we know it. Then they would have the health part taken care of!

    Go Google!

  2. Daniel


    Didn't people say the same about Micr◌soft before?

    Just saying..

  3. Grant


    No M$ showed it's true colors pretty early. I remember the rumor around DOS 2 or 3 that an internal requirement for the OS to ship was that the competing (and dominate at that time) spreadsheet would not run on the new version.People prety much knew what M$ was up to. Google has not shown M$es level of business practices openly yet.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Verizon is a big bunch of liars

    "The one-size-fits-all mentality that characterizes open access regimes for the wireless industry would begin the process of stifling innovation and creativity in our industry,"

    How, exactly? How does someone using your network with an unapproved-but-harmless device curb innovation in the slightest?

    Verizon seems to be using "innovation" the same way Microsoft does, as a code word that really means "our profits". As in "open access would begin the process of stifling our profits".

    Surely freedom to use any device encourages manufacturers to come up with new devices? Surely freedom to use any device speeds up the time to market and the spread of new technology? Surely freedom to use any device increases the choice of devices and so reduces the price of devices?

    Europe is full of phone networks that allow access by any unlocked GSM or 3G phone, and Europe is also miles ahead of the US in terms of phone network coverage, speed and (yes) innovation.

    Finland actually went so far as to ban locked phones many years ago. Is Verizon really claiming that Finland's mobile phone industry was harmed by that decision?

  5. Peter Clarke


    Will Google be analysing all the traffic to better shape our Google profile?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Boiling the frogs boys, boiling the frogs...

    Microsoft showed their colors early on. And made people pay them for the privilege.

    Google has shown their colors -- people just don't care because the advertisers pay instead of it coming out of the people's pocket's directly.

    Free email? That's really, really good...even if you're archiving and indexing what I write and read? Awe, who cares, it's free to me...yippeeee.

    Does wonder if we'll get effective privacy legislation once some large corporation gets smart and pays Google a large amount of money to get all the Google search terms / result click throughs / map results / gmail contacts originating from their biggest competitor's IP range. Oh, and all the stuff linked to Google accounts to, so we get what their employees did from home, too.

    I rolled my eyes at Senator Patrick Leahy bloviating over the Bush administrations wire tap policies -- when Leahy was the prime sponsor of the legislation to mandate and pay to install the wire taps in the first place.

    We shouldn't only be offended how it's used, we should be offended that this metadata of people's searching and emails and such is retained in the first place. Like forcing the telecommunication equipment to be easily and readily tapped, the risk of future abuse is too great.

    Even if people click on the little checkbox that they agree to all the terms and conditions on the way to get something for "free."

  7. xjy

    Forces of development vs shackles on development

    There is so much technical innovation and content innovation building up behind the restraining dams of Microsoft Verizon etc, US capital trade and monopoly/patent interests, that the smallest crack will rip open the whole thing. It might seem to be moving slowly on a day-by-day time scale, but look at it year-by-year or decade-by-decade and the momentum is clear.

    The cracks are opening up in so many different parts of the dam, too. DRM - crack. Oil/Coal/Nuclear - crack (in the case of Japan, literally...). Junk food - crack. US warmongering and nation-demolition (Iraq, Afghanistan, Colombia, Venezuela) - crack. Irrationalism and superstition (creationism) - crack. Windoze - crack.

    The present monopoly capitalist system is devoting so much effort and manpower and forced labour to saving the dam, and to preventing people from understanding what's going on, that it's only when you imagine all this effort and manpower (and forced labour turned voluntary) being devoted to demolishing the dam, cleaning up the mess, and freeing up the accumulated energy that it becomes clear that "something's gotta give" has already happened, and that what we are witnessing now is "something's giving".

    The shackles on development are the relations of ownership in social (large-scale) production - they are being blown away by the forces of development/production (real and potential). In the contradiction between the relations of production and the forces of production, the forces are always stronger, even though they can be restrained for a while, and always win in the end.

  8. Richard

    Regardless of past conduct...

    Regardless of whether Google is generally a "good" company or a "bad" company ...this is effectively bribing the auctioneer by providing financial incentives to change the rule book. That is both arrogant and ethically questionable. If this is Google putting their money where their principles are it doesn't say much for the principles...

    Google don't own the monopoly on ethical business or moral principles, they don't have every good idea about how best to serve "consumer citizens" and do what is right and they are an interested party in the auction. Do we want Google to have the exclusive say in how spectrum is auctioned? Or even a large say...lets face it Google really are unproven in wireless and will be until their municipal wireless operations have matured, while even if you don't like the cellular operators you have to admit there is more competition in that market than that in which Google operates, and several billion people value mobile phones enough to pay for them.

    If you want to use the language of anti-trust this is Google seeking to manipulate the regulation in one market (wireless), in such a way to enable it to leverage it's near dominant position in another market (Internet advertising) to gain a position of market power in the wireless market. I don't dislike Google (or MS or Apple): they are just a company with shareholders and should be expected to act to profit maximise, as is their legal obligation. Regulators like the FCC should listen to inputs from everybody on auction design and regulation, and come up with an independently fair set of rules to maximise achievable value, and reject such blatant financial lobbying.

  9. oxo

    Yeah, well..

    This is a USA only system, as the FCC only has jurisdiction there. To talk of world-wide access is simply more marketing speak.

  10. Chris


    I understand the sentiment that Google is basically trying to buy the auction rules... but on the flip side, the FCC is horrible at doing its job. I happen to agree with Googles rule and I'm tired of the FCC being morons about everything (million dollar fine for a nipple anyone?). I'd rather it be Google buying the auction then Verizon doing the same thing. Cell companies have had it too good for too long, I mean look at the state of networks from the US to Europe? No 3g, no innovation, just price gouging.

  11. Jim Metz

    Look to the pasted

    The U.S. has fell far past the leaders in broad band and cell access. I think we got side tracked from a level playing ground in both. It's time to get back on track. The Phone companies both cell and land line have not kept up with the modernization of the network. Letting them do it putts us behind in both technology and cost to the end user. I for one don't like the cost or limiting selection of devices for broadband or cell access. I say let competition back in to the market.

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