Republican lawmakers say Google "gamed" 700Mhz auction

Google's plan in the 700MHz auction drama was never much of a secret: it was always assumed that the search giant would bid enough to trigger the open-access provisions, but wasn't really interested in winning, and sure enough, the company confirmed that strategy when the bidding wrapped up. Of course, news travels slow in our nation's capital, and word of Google's dastardly plan to make sure the FCC's open-access rules were triggered is apparently shocking news to a handful of Republicans, who characterized it as "gaming the system," and asked FCC chairman Kevin Martin if the agency had been "duped." Newsflash to Reps. Fred Upton (R-Mich), Cliff Stearns (R-Fla) and John Shimkus (R-Ill): the FCC, Google, and Verizon argued about this for months and analysts had a field day, remember? And then Verizon gave up the lawsuits, went crazy on the open tip, and won the auction anyway. Of course, if Verizon hadn't won, Google would have had to make good on that $4.6B bid, which isn't exactly chump change. So, who gamed what? If anything, the FCC's coffers got a little fatter than they would have otherwise, and we're pretty certain consumers will benefit from open-access, so, uh, you guys want to stop wrecking the party now? Cool.

[Thanks, Scott]