NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Some news is so important that the media has to change its plans on what to write about. That's what just happened to me after reading that Google (GOOG) is actually going to split its stock for the first time since its initial public offering.
This is a huge shift in the shareholder-friendly company's plans, and the stock in after-hours trading is up more than 4% to a new high of $1,183.
As I reported Thursday, GOOG is the best tech company in the world today, bar none. But for the past three years co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have bristled at any stock split arrangement that would weaken their control over the destiny of the company they founded in a garage more than 15 years ago.
According to an Associated Press report, the stock split is scheduled to take place on April 2. "It had been delayed because of staunch resistance from other Google Inc. shareholders, who feared the maneuver would unfairly benefit Page and Brin at the expense of just about everyone else," according to the report.
Apparently that concern is now a thing of the past. To make the stock split possible the company settled a shareholders lawsuit and - are you sitting down -- agreed to pay up to $7.5 billion if the split doesn't work out well for shareholders like Google's officers imagine.
Google's plan will create a new class of "C'' share that has no voting power. As reported, tne share of C stock will be distributed for each share of voting Class A stock owned as of March 27. To begin with the value of the current stock will be divided equally between the two types of shares.
Both classes of stock will then trade separately with different ticker symbols. Class C shares will still use the company's existing "GOOG" ticker symbol, while Class A stock will use the symbol "GOOGL." Will the co-founders still be able to dominate and rule this most powerful of technology titans after the split?
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