I have found that Google does not allow me to use competitors' names as keywords to bid on. Actually, it does allow me but makes the minimum bid $5.00. It dictates the $5.00 minimum requirement regardless of the CTR/relevancy. Also, I have not been able to determine whether the $5.00 bid is also the minimum CPC as sometimes I am charged a CPC of $5.00 even though there are no other advertisers on those keywords and it should charge a minimal CPC of $0.05.
Thanks in advance for any insight.