Get your head out of election mode, people, we've got a 700MHz auction to worry about! Those in the know are saying that Verizon is sneaking away with the C block, and that Google isn't too miffed about it. Plenty of pundits were predicting that Google would stand by its word and bid up to the $4.6 billion required to ensure the block of spectrum is made "open
," but they figured Google would bail on the auction
at that point and hope someone else would come along to up the ante and foot the bill. From all indications, Verizon is that lucky bidder, but instead of bidding directly on the national C block, analysts believe it's been Verizon that's snapped up enough regional slices of spectrum to equal the bidding price of the C block. Under FCC rules, if regional bids outstrip the C block price, the block is divvied up and given to the respective bidders. While any proper Google fanboy would love to see the search giant get its hand on last-mile wireless spectrum and break the grasp of current service providers, it was also rather optimistic. Don't stop believing, bidding isn't over yet, but we're getting ready to hunker down for another couple decades of Verizon / AT&T rivalry.
*Verizon has acquired AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.