Sunday, March 23, 2008

Google wins by losing wireless-auction

Google's losing bid for coveted wireless airwaves may prove a victory for the Web search leader as it still stands to get access to mobile networks without spending tens of billions of dollars to build one, analysts said.
Wall Street analysts said the Silicon Valley Internet search and advertising giant has succeeded in forcing open network requirements upon winning bidder Verizon Communications via Google's apparent strategy of "bidding to lose."

Verizon will control the open network but will be required to allow devices and applications from other companies to use it.

Google and rivals Yahoo and Microsoft have stepped up moves over the past year to help ensure that consumers will one day be able to use the Internet services on mobile phones in the way they now use computers.

Google believes making the Internet easier to use for billions of mobile phone users will translate into increased demand for its Web search and advertising services.

What remains up for debate is the degree to which Google can make Verizon live up to auction rules that protect independent Internet services such as Google from being kept off phones and other devices by network owner Verizon.