It had to happen, they couldn’t seem to hold off for much longer. The BBC has the story Google to sell $2.7bn in shares, so does Slashdot: Google Files for IPO. Interestingly Google’s own press center is not yet carrying the story.
I only hope that what they are offering is not the majority of the company, that is, I hope that Sergey and Larry retain absolute control. Somehow I doubt that! I think it would be very unusual.
There has been a lot of speculation about what a majority third party shareholder interest in Google will do to the value of it’s search results. I think that matters less than it did. They know they have been losing market share in the search engine arena and quite rapidly in recent months. I believe they have started to diversify and will continue to do so. If they can get it right (and that is a big ‘if’) GMail will be a killer app. And I think with all the specialized search engine and AI companies they have been buying they have something stunningly clever up their collective sleeves.
We’ll just have to wait and see.
update: Wow! I was wrong to doubt. It looks like Google will be bucking the trend and retaining absolute control within the company. This article at Wired More Reasons to Love Google has the info and much more besides. From page two of the article:
A dual class stock structure will keep control of Google in the hands of its founders.