One of the most closely watched targets in the 700MHz spectrum auction was finally reached yesterday after a bidder on the nationwide C Block slice of the spectrum offered up a whopping $4.71 billion, officially exceeding the $4.64 billion reserve price set by the FCC, and thus triggering the “open access” condition sought by Google.
The bidders’ identities are being kept anonymous so as to prevent anti-competitive activity until the entire auction ends, though speculation is that all of the C Block bidding is being done by Verizon and Google. The search giant had said publicly that they would bid up the price to at least the reserve level to ensure the open access condition was put into place. However, now that the reserve has been met and that the spectrum must be accessible to any device or software application, many believe Google will drop out of the bidding.
No end dates or bidding limits have been established for the auction, which is set to continue until bidding stops. The auction’s daily bids can be followed online through the FCC’s results page, which is updated within 10 minutes of a round ending.