AT&T-Funded Politicians Accuse Google Of Gaming The Spectrum Auction System

from the please-explain dept

We’ve already explained why Google’s actions in the recent 700 MHz spectrum auction wasn’t “fleecing” taxpayers as some lobbyists had contended. Yet, it appears that the lobbying has been effective. A set of Congressional representatives have started asking whether or not Google gamed the system. This is a pretty bizarre claim against a company that put up $4.6 billion in an auction and was then outbid. Clearly, in putting up the bid, there was a chance that Google could have won and had to pay the $4.6 billion. There’s no rule that Google had to keep bidding. The company stopped at the point at which it was comfortable bidding. Of course, it will probably surprise no one that if you look at the top campaign contributor to all 3 representatives attacking Google’s actions, you’ll notice a pattern (in the letters A, T and T). Check it out for yourself. There’s Fred Upton, Cliff Stearns and John Shimkus. You think that had something to do with their opinion on the spectrum auction process? Nah…

Filed Under: , , ,
Companies: at&t, congress, fcc, google

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “AT&T-Funded Politicians Accuse Google Of Gaming The Spectrum Auction System”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
TheDock22 says:

There is no Game

Google even stated that they intended to bid enough to activate the open-access requirements. So what though? They put real money on the line that they would have gladly paid if Verizon Wireless hadn’t outbid them. Google was in it for one thing only, but that doesn’t mean they cheated tax-payers out of money. How could it?

MATT says:

Re: There is no Game= yep, = tough luck

From a reality perspective, they made a bid they can afford. There is no gaming of the system at that point in that other people bid more than that.

Jeezus christ ATT is really stupid on this.

“I only wanted to pay 5 dollars for something, someone else said they’d buy it for 6. I said I really want it though, so I paid 7 to make sure it’s mine. Now I’m blaming you for saying you’d buy it for 6”

In a nutshell, that’s ATT….whine somewhere else.

Anonymous Coward says:

As a member of the FCC said, even if Google was bidding to up the auction cost to trigger the “open airwaves” there is no law against it nor was it in bad faith because if they won it would be $4.6 billion raised for the US govt AND taxpayers.
Wasn’t the point of the auction to raise as much money as possible for the govt? Wasn’t the objective completed successfully?

Jman594 says:

Re: They just don't like freedom

I agree. I think that the entire tax system and stupid “global warming” taxes that are being imposed will be the cause for another revoulution. Not to sound like a hippie, but seriously, I am damn tired of the federal and state govenment imposing taxes by telling me that I have to buy $5 shitty light bulbs instead of my wonderfully bright $.50 bulbs.

Al gore will make this country poor.

(I don’t exactly know how this got turned into a global warming issue. I guess I’m just pissed about loosing my freedom!)

Jman594 says:

Re: Re: Re: They just don't like freedom

I am so glad that I have you to tell me to stfu and that I am ignorant.

And as you sit there, angry and frustrated with the world because you have no idea what your party really means to do with our freedom, remember this:

When this country turns to socialism, you can only blame your own ignorance.

I will give you that it was off topic (Hell, I think that I even explained that in parenthsis), but not wrong. In fact, someday when your socialist party takes over and the country starts to look more and more like the USSR, you will have nowhere to turn but inside.

Oh, and kudos to you for showing how hateful you and your party is. I’m sure that will change the minds of people everywhere.

JJ says:

An auction IS a game

Of course they gamed the auction… after all, an auction is a type of game. And not just in a technical, mathematical/economic, abstract game theory sense. Go to the FCC’s website and read the rules for the auction, and you’ll feel like you’re reading the instructions for some obscure turn-based strategy game. However, when Verizon won the auction, they clearly felt that even with the restrictions, it was worth 4.7 Billion dollars to them to own the spectrum themselves.

AT&T seems to be claiming that if Google hadn’t bid above the reserve, everybody else had a tacit agreement not to bid. But by forcing the issue, Google made other companies bid what they thought the spectrum was genuinely worth to them. In that case, AT&T is really saying that Google prevented everybody else from gaming the system in a way that would have been detrimental to consumers!

deadzone (profile) says:


The whole thing is stupid anyway because it’s not like Martin and the FCC will to anything to enforce the so-called “Open Standards” that were set up. Remember it’s Martin’s big buddies the phone companies that we are talking about here not the hated cable companies.

You could bet that the “Open Standards” would be enforced by Martin and the FCC if the cable companies had won all the spectrum though. 🙂 Otherwise, this is all just moot point and not even worth discussing from the standpoint of the open standards as it’s really the fact that they had to pay another billion for the spectrum and they don’t like that. It’s always money. Always.

Sean Sawka says:

Free and Open Markets?

Isn’t is ironic that these republican @$$h0les that are complaining about how the auction went are the same people that cry about “free and open markets”? Do they only favor capitalism if it favors big business? Really, if you are a true capitalist, you take the risk, enjoy the successes, accept the failures, and don’t expect the government to bail you out.

Jim says:

It is all about Google and their White Space efforts

What the big CellCO really fear, and what this propaganda blitz is all about, is an effort to undermine Googles credibility with the FCC and Congress on any future efforts they make to change the rules in the Wireless Spectrum markets.
Google is a prime mover in an effort to free up the White Space (Spectrum) and make sure it is released as an Open or Unlicensed Specrum vs. being auctioned to the big Carriers. These big boys fear is that some of this very powerful/functional spectrum would be made available to independant 3rd parties to compete with their existing Cell and planned (700Mhz) Networks.
The Sub 400Mhz spectrum is ideal for a Local Broadband Wireless Data/Video and VOiceIP network that would run rings around their Narrowband Cell Data Nets.


Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »