FCC’s breaking the waves

March 19, 2008

martin.jpgThe FCC took in a record haul of $19.6 billion from its auction of wireless airwaves, but the real story will unfold in the next few days when we find out who won the hundreds of licenses issued.

FCC chief Kevin Martin said he would make that list public after commissioners approve an order to formally end the auction.

High on the guess list is Verizon Wireless, which many in the industry believe paid as much as $4.74 billion for the coveted “C” block of spectrum. That block carries requirements — advocated by Web search leader Google Inc — that it be accessible to any device or software application.

Add in a recent interview in which Eric Schmidt talks about Verizon’s recent visits to the Googleplex and “commitment to open access,” and it starts to seem like that ringing noise you hear just might be the Google phone.
(Reuters) (WSJ)

Keep an eye on:
* Dow Jones & Co, now in the hands of Rupert Murdoch, will end a 40-year partnership with the Associated Press after the AP asked for more money.
(Reuters)

* Adobe Systems Inc. has begun work to create a media player destined for Apple Inc.’s iPhone, adding a new wrinkle to a standoff between the two long-term partners.
(WSJ)

* News Corp.’s Fox passed CBS as the most-watched television network after its “American Idol” singing contest topped ratings and the Hollywood writers strike limited competition from scripted shows.
(LATimes)
(Reuters photo of Kevin Martin)

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