Price of Haste
With so much at stake, is it really necessary for Google to press ahead now? It would certainly be better for the companyand its shareholdersto call a halt to the IPO until the SEC has completed its inquiry and clarified the legal issues as well as the potential costs. Google had asked the SEC to approve its registration paperwork by 4 p.m. Tuesday, clearing the way for the IPO to start as early as the following day. But the SEC declined to make a decision Tuesday, raising questions about how long the commission might delay the IPO. Click here to read a column on the politics of Googles IPO.But Googles unseemly haste to push this IPO through does nothing to shore up investor confidence in the companys stock and in the integrity of the overall stock market. Googles actions are too reminiscent of the worst abuses of the all-too-recent dot-com market bubble, in which absurdly high stock prices were supported by arrant speculation. If Google truly believes in the value of the company and its long-term prospects, it can surely take the time to do whatever is necessary to fix a problem that clearly arose from gross negligence. Check out eWEEK.coms Enterprise Applications Center at http://enterpriseapps.eweek.com for the latest news, reviews and analysis about productivity and business solutions.
The ball is now in the SECs court. It would certainly make sense for the SEC to put the IPO on hold until it has the information it needs to clarify the legal status of the stock. If its just a matter of shuffling a few papers and paying a fine to make the stock legal, so be it.