11. The 700MHz Spectrum Auction Shortfall

Date: April 15, 2008

Three U.S. government officials accused Google of discouraging candidates from placing bids and causing the FCC to lose out on an extra $10 billion during the 700MHz spectrum auction. Republican Cliff Stearns voiced his opinion on the allegation: “I suspect that if Google had been interested in more than just maneuvering within the system. It could have prevailed in the C block and become a new [wireless] entrant…what is more concerning is, that even though we knew what they were doing, we let them maneuver this way anyway.” Granted Google did give the FCC a difficult time for demanding winner stipulations like offering wholesale access to competitors, you can't knock its hustle for trying to win. Business is business. Verizon won and Google argued the auction process was rigged for wireless companies to win. But karma came back in the form of Google's Android OS, which is now the leading mobile platform.