We could go awry on H.264 vs. VP8 too (I'm not religious), but note how Chrome has best of both worlds, including paying the gangster fee (MPEG-LA license). Not exactly "open".
The minor point for this discussion is that works-in-WebKit happens, but mostly unintentionally or out of rank laziness on content authors' parts. It may even (as you suggest and I agree) provide a big clue-stick to repair a standardization mistake or pox-on-both-houses-try-again situation.
Meanwhile, and this is the major point: works-best/only-in-Chrome looks like an intentional marketing game, backed by a nine-figure budget. Big difference there.