Verizon Wireless won most of the C block with a bid of $4.7 billion, but Google officials said Thursday the company bid several times on the C block. Google had promised to bid at least $4.6 billion on the C block if the FCC would require the winning bidder to follow so-called open-access rules, which allow outside applications and devices such as mobile handsets from other carriers to be used on the network.
"As you probably know by now, Google didn't pick up any spectrum licenses in the auction," Google officials said in a blog post. "Nonetheless, partly as a result of our bidding, consumers soon should have new freedom to get the most out of their mobile phones and other wireless devices."
Google was the high bidder on the C block "for many days during the early course of the auction," said the blog post, by Richard Whitt, the company's Washington-based telecom and media counsel, and Joseph Faber, Google's corporate counsel.
While the FCC accepted only two of four conditions Google proposed, the company still wanted to bid, they wrote.
"We still believed it was important to demonstrate through action our commitment to a more open wireless world," they wrote. "We're glad that we [bid]. Based on the way that the bidding played out, our participation in the auction helped ensure that the C Block met the reserve price."
Google officials didn't immediately address a question about what the company would've done with the spectrum had it won the auction.
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