Watch CBSN Live

FCC Duped By Google In Auction: Republicans

This story was written by James Quintana Pearce.

There's quite a bit being written on the remarks of some Republican senators that Google (NSDQ: GOOG) "gamed" the 700 MHz auction, and "duped" the FCC...Bloomberg has the quotes. Their issue appears to be that by bidding Google lowered the amount the auction generatedJohn Shimkus "asked whether Google had "duped" the FCC by bidding primarily to trigger the open-access rules"of course, by bidding Google drove up the price...the only thing that would have lowered it would be the open access conditions, which were set before the auction. The other issue is whether the FCC had been "duped", which is highly unlikely since Google was not very discrete in its lobbying for open access conditions, and anyone with half a brain knew they were going to bid to trigger the open-access rules but probably wouldn't go much higher. So what's the senators point? I think that the auction may have raised more money if the open access rules weren't there, but I think governments are there to look after their citizens rather than to generate obscene profits. TechDirt notes that the top campaign contributor to all 3 representatives was AT&T the C-Block was won by Verizon (NYSE: VZ) but maybe AT&T (NYSE: T) is worried that if Verizon offers open access they'll be pressured to follow suit? Or maybe it's just a coincidence

By James Quintana Pearce

View CBS News In