Google plans Nasdaq listing

Google, which runs the world's most widely used search engine, has found a stock exchange to list its shares: Nasdaq.

When it filed in April a registration statement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for an initial public offering (IPO) of common stock, Google indicated it was considering either Nasdaq or the New York Stock Exchange.

In a filing made Monday with the SEC, Google said it had chosen Nasdaq, a stock exchange known for housing the shares of many technology companies.

The IPO, which Google expects will raise about US$2.7 billion, will be structured in an unconventional way based on an auction process, with the purpose of, at least in theory, giving small investors a better chance of participating in it.

There might be technical and business reasons behind Google's choice of Nasdaq, but it is certainly a move that is consistent with the search giant's intention to reach out to smaller investors, said David Schatsky, a Jupiter Research analyst.

"In the popular imagination of consumer investors, Nasdaq is where technology happens, and that's where they would most likely expect to see Google listed, so it's a natural fit," he said. "It's where all the action happened in the last round of technology and Internet IPOs."

Google still hasn't chosen a symbol for its stock, nor has it announced a date for the IPO.

Google has applied to list its Class A common stock in Nasdaq, while its Class B common stock will not be listed in any stock exchange. In its April filing, Google said that this dual-class voting structure is designed to give its management more control over the Mountain View, California-based company after it goes public. While Class A common stock will have one vote per share, Class B common stock will have 10 votes per share.

A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on the decision to choose Nasdaq.

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Juan Carlos Perez

IDG News Service
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