Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) has grown into a very popular company and a popular stock for investors to hold, as the company has developed a market cap that lists it among the five biggest companies on the U.S. markets. Once in a while, a company will conduct what is called a split of its stock, meaning that for the current price of a single stock, a company would disburse two or more shares of stock to existing investors and float them in the market.
Seems like a good opportunity for recreational investors to get a prominent stock more cheaply and get in on the ground floor as the stock rallies following the split, which occurs in many cases. However, Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG), in an attempt to seem benevolent, was sued by a group of investors that claimed that the stock split was actually going to be a way for CEO Larry Page and co-founder Sergey Brin to increase their control on the company.
The lawsuit was set to go to trial Tuesday in Delaware, but apparently the two sides agreed to settle the case – which mean what? That the investors had a case for their theory and caught Google red-handed?
The stock split idea concocted by Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOG) would have created Class C shares with no voting rights. This meant that, according to the plaintiffs, that Page and Brin could have sold off millions upon millions of dollars of new shares to investors yet would still maintain their current 56-percent voting control.
Though the pair own just 15 percent of the company’s stock between then, they have majority voting control due to their ownership of Class B shares, which are worth 10 votes apiece (the class A shares are worth one vote).
Under the terms of the settlement, according to reports, all amendments to stock policies will require advance warning to investors and any further voting control increases by either Page or Brin would kick in more scrutiny. What are your thoughts about Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) stock policy and its attempted split and reclassification of shares? Was this about Brin and Page’s control, or was there more benevolence in this than it seemed on the face? Give us your feedback in the comments section below.