With the stage primed
for a heavyweight fight between Verizon and Google in January's 700MHz wireless auction, there's some chatter today that Google might actually be bluffing. Bloomberg is reporting that some analysts think that Google has been simply making a lot of noise so that the FCC would enact those controversial open-access rules
, but that it doesn't intend to place bids beyond the $4.6B minimum. That strategy would mean that El Goog would get an open network upon which to play, but not have to pony up for the actual towers and infrastructure. Of course, this flies in the face of nearly everything else we've heard to date, like Google pronouncing that it's putting "money where our principles are," and possibly even building a secret test network
on its campus, but it's not necessarily unthinkable -- with carrier partners in the OHA
and Verizon's surprising decision
to open its cell network, it certainly seems like Google's getting pretty good at manipulating airwave politics.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.