Rope-a-dope

Breaking news: Verizon (VZ) tops the bidding for coveted 'C-block' 700Mhz spectrum, bidding a reported total $9.63 billion for regional licenses that cover the whole 48 continental states.

Google (GOOG) won nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. And won anyway, by virtue of the open-access provisions they demanded as a precondition before they bid. These provisions (anybody want to bet me a quarter that Verizon's legal team is even now crafting a challenge to them?) putatively guarantee all comers more-or-less equal access to the desirable WiMax-friendly frequency block, freed up as of early 2009 when those old useless UHF channels on your broadcast tuner go dark.

Oh. The other winner? You. The US Treasury nets about $19.5 billion - almost double the originally estimated take.