The other side of that coin is that, if Google decided to include H.264 support in Chrome, other browser makers, without or with little money, could have been unable to pay the royalties needed to be paid to patent owners to support it in their browsers. Does Google saving itself $6.5 million annually pale in comparison to Google saving itself and everyone else up to $6.5 million annually?
The Web does not need H.264 to function, so if everyone drops support for it preemptively, then even the small browser makers (I'm thinking of Flock here, which is based on Chromium but has a user base of its own) won't need to pay royalties to anyone.
This is like the GIF patents by Unisys* driving adoption of the PNG format, except that the patents are being assessed now because we know of a few formats that are** suitable for the job but unencumbered already. For instance, WebM can, like H.264, be implemented by anyone, but in addition to that, WebM intentionally doesn't require that royalties be paid. It can become a standard, like PNG originally wasn't a standard but then became an ISO/IEC standard 8 years later.
* = As well as other factors such as the lack of true-color support, alpha and ICC in a lossless format, but that's off-topic.
** = May not be for now, due to lack of hardware acceleration, but could become in the future. Some people don't really care about power usage or CPU usage, so it's already suitable for them.