The FCC's 700MHz spectrum auction is over, and Verizon and AT&T came out on top - unless you think Google wins because they may have gotten just what they wanted without having to spend a penny. Verizon spend some $9.6 Billion in total, including $4,741,807,000 for just about all of the top-shelf C Block save for Alaska, Puerto Rico, and the Gulf of Mexico. AT&T is doling out over $6.6 Billion for 12MHz of spectrum in some 700+ markets nationwide.
So what about Google? As many predicted, Google bid early on the C Block but bowed out in the end, lending credence to the theory that all they really wanted was for the FCC's reserve price to be met so that "open access rules" would kick in. This means that a chunk of Verizon's new spectrum must be open to access from non-Verizon devices and applications.
In a nutshell, the C block was so coveted because it could easily be used for nationwide, high-speed wireless service including data transfer around 10 mb/s or so on the download side. It's been speculated that Verizon might use the C block to expand their VCAST mobile TV offerings, and also that they merely wanted to insure (at whatever cost) that Google didn't claim enough spectrum to launch their own nationwide network to compete with Verizon Wireless.