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Google Share Split Is a Naked Power Grab


Citing their "enduring love for Google" and desire to "prevent outside parties from taking over or unduly influencing our management decisions," Sergey Brin and Larry Page have just tightened their grip on the company they founded and dressed it up as a share split.

Technically, existing shareholders will see their $650 stock split in half come June, only the new half won't be a mirror image of the old half, since it will have had the voting rights gutted out of it and plunked on the already overflowing plates of the duel billionaires at the top.

Perhaps the most laughable line of the announcement, which accompanied Google's (GOOG) first quarter earnings results, came from Chief Legal Officer David Drummond, who masterfully soft-sells investors that this is going to happen and there's nothing you can do about it like this: "Given that Larry, Sergey, and Eric control the majority of voting power and support this proposal, we expect it to pass."

You don't say.

In the attached video, Macke and I liken the move to siphoning the power out of your Powerade that benefits no one except the 3 biggest shareholders. But the truth is, most investors are probably happy to let Page and Brin continue to do what they've done all along since it appears to be working. But what about when it's not working, at some later date, and a change of chiefs or direction or focus might be needed? Good luck with that.

You can politely raise your hand and offer your suggestion, as long as it doesn't unduly influence the decision.

And to think, this entire plan was hatched from the same chicken that famously stated "don't be evil" as a founding principle.