Google glosses over auction in conference call

Google's CEO Eric Schmidt has sent a letter to the FCC stating its intent to participate in the 700MHz auction (by committing a minimum bid of $4.6 billion) if the FCC requires bidders to adopt four specific open access conditions. The conditions are the same ones the Open Access coalition have been promoting all along: Open applications, open devices, open services and open networks.

During its quarterly conference call, Google executives briefly explained why they are interested in the 700MHz auction: advertising, of course. Google's CEO Eric Schmidt explains: "From a Google perspective, the most important thing is that there be an open network. We define that in the sense that people can go to a store or however they are going to get it and get a device, plug that device into a wireless network and be able to use the full capability of the Internet. In the course of using that full capability of the Internet, which is going to be delivered on these mini-devices that have come out in this space globally, they're also going to become very significant Google advertising users."

While it might take a Google-sized wallet to pull off an open access network in the U.S., Google's stated desire is to simply get more eyeballs in front of their ads. "So there's really a direct connection between the open interoperable network that we are now arguing for in SEC filings and so forth and the ultimate usage of Google services and applications, and of course, advertiser satisfaction," Schmidt concluded.

For more on the Google's plans:
- read this press release and letter to the FCC
- check out this press release regarding the quarterly earnings

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