SAN FRANCISCO - Losing the battle for a prized piece of the airwaves isn't necessarily a setback for Google Inc.
If anything, Thursday's news that Verizon Wireless had won the government-run auction for a pivotal swath of spectrum may even have been the ideal outcome for Google.
That's because investors no longer have to fret about Google straying from its main business of Internet search to spend more than $10 billion buying and building a wireless network.
Yet Google still positioned itself to profit from the newly available airwaves by ensuring the bids for the so-called "C block" escalated to $4.6 billion. Reaching that price triggered a provision that requires the new wireless network to accommodate all mobile devices, including equipment using a software package called "Android" that is supposed to give Google a better opportunity to sell more advertising.
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