- 4/4/2014 12:34:00 PM
You might notice that we now have two Google stocks, one with the symbol GOOG and the other with GOOGL.
One set of shares, called Class A, will trade under a new ticker symbol, ‘GOOGL.’ The other, Class C, will be listed under the company’s historic ticker, ‘GOOG.’
Founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin own Class B shares which are not publicly traded. Larry and Sergey (and former CEO Eric Schmidt) will get a Class C share for every stock they own.
Does that mean regular Google investors are about to get expanded control over the Internet giant? Not really.
The average Google stock owner won’t receive any extra voting rights because GOOG and GOOGL will not be the same when it comes to having a say in the way Google is run. Each Class A share will still be counted as one vote, a Class C (the most common type) doesn’t provide the owner with any voting rights.
Google have made this change to boost Page and Brin’s ability to maintain control by stopping the dilution of their Class B shares as the company is now expected to issue mainly non-voting Class shares going forward. Previously they couldn’t make large acquisitions based on stock because it would dilute their control. Now they can use stock options to make these large deals without losing any control over the company.