Larry and Sergey Just Tightened Their Ironclad Grip on Google

TIME

Google doubled the number of outstanding shares available Thursday to ensure that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin maintain control of the company for years to come. The maneuver, called a stock split, will make it difficult for investors to gain a significant voting stake in the company.

Before Thursday, Google’s stock was split among Class A shares, which are publicly traded and worth one vote each, and Class B shares, which are held by early Googlers such as Page and Brin and are worth 10 votes each. The split doubled the number of available shares by halving the price of the stock and creating a new, non-voting category called Class C shares. The overall value of Google stock remains unchanged, but current investors will now own equal amounts of voting and non-voting shares.

With a huge pool of non-voting stock, Google will now be able to issue stock options…

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