Verizon is the big winner in the 700 MHz auction, gaining the 20-odd MHz C Block set of national licenses: The FCC has announced the provisionally winning bidders in the nearly $20b auction that ended a few days ago with over 1,000 licenses at stake. Verizon spent $9.6b overall ($4.7b of that for the C Block licenses) in the auctions, while AT&T spent $6.6b, Echostar $711m, and Qualcomm $1b. The variety of other licenses obtain gives Echostar nearly national coverage, while Qualcomm is likely filling out its needs for MediaFLO, a national media broadcast network aimed at cell phones and mobile devices.
FCC Chair Kevin Martin has asked the FCC's inspector general to investigate what wrong with the D Block auction, which failed to receive its reserve bid. This was a mixed public safety/commercial band that Harold Feld, among others, alleges had its auction sabotaged through a set of vague requirements that could have led a winning bidder to forfeit its bid receipts while acting in a manner that conformed to the auction requirements.