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Larry & Sergey To Cash In $5.5B of Google Chips

kdawson posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-longer-stopping-to-pick-up-pennies dept.

Google 339

theodp writes "According to an SEC filing, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have adopted five-year trading plans to sell about 5M shares each, which would yield each about $2.75B based on Friday's closing stock price of $550.01. BTW, Google kicks in 12 cents to Social Security and another 2 cents to Medicare on its founders' celebrated $1 annual salaries." After this stock is sold, the founders will hold less than 50% of the voting shares and thus will give up voting control of Google.

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BFD (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872190)

Big fucking deal...

Re:BFD (1)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872244)

It is a BFD when you realize that DSE no longer feels the need to hide behind the Brin and Page flesh puppets. Prepare for the end-game... C U L8r.

Re:BFD (4, Insightful)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872320)

Even more so, it seems like Google has been doing some huge changes lately (maybe pulling out of china, android for mobile phones, photographing every street on the planet, current "main guys" and owners starting to sell shares).

Remember that their current stance on privacy (and especially their datamining everywhere) doesn't tell anything how the company will be ran in future. It's even more worry some when the 'geeky' owners sell their shares and leave control to business people.

Re:BFD (5, Interesting)

Hal_Porter (817932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872452)

I bet the Chinese Government are buying those shares (and the voting rights attached to them) as fast as they can. People said Larry and Sergei were crazy pissing them off but maybe it's all part of the plan.

Re:BFD (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872636)

I bet the Chinese Government are buying those shares (and the voting rights attached to them) as fast as they can. People said Larry and Sergei were crazy pissing them off but maybe it's all part of the plan.

That's just paranoia! This is what is really happening...

As they sell their shares, other mutual funds and pension funds will buy the stock as "investments" - those mutual funds and pensions won't be really well known. It'll be something like the Virginia Government Employee Retirement Fund or what have you. Now, those funds would be managed by a company that's called, the Center Investing Authority - let's say. Now that company is actually a shell company based in the Cayman Islands. Their agents in the Caymans would be Guido Catelloni, Fettuccine Alfredo and Jose Paco Horowitz. Of course, it's really a ruse. Since the true owners are in Iceland. So, you have Igottafatdottir as being the power behind the Cayman name, Now, you'd think that that money was stolen from the current Icelandic financial crisis. Nope! the money actually came from Italy. You see the Cayman Island guys are actually the real guys BUT they're Jesuit priests! That's right! The Catholic Church is buying up Google and pinning it on the Chinese. Why is the Catholics buying Google? Why to launder all that treasure from the Crusades!

See, you're theory is just too far fetched, as for mine, well, there's a couple of millennia of history to back it up.

Re:BFD (1)

nhytefall (1415959) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872710)

This may be the most brilliantly cynical thing I have ever read. And, from an AC no less. The end IS truly nigh.

Re:BFD (1)

Voulnet (1630793) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872768)

Center Investing Authority, I like that name's coupling with its acronym.

Re:BFD (1)

adamjgp (1229860) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872484)

It's even more worry some when the 'geeky' owners sell their shares and leave control to business people.

That's so true. Mod parent up!

They will still control Google (3, Insightful)

linuxgurugamer (917289) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872192)

Even if they have less than 50%, if they have the largest block then in all likelyhood they will still retain control.

Re:They will still control Google (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872228)

Only on paper. The other 50+ % could tell them to take a hike, as they change Google's direction into uncharted, less 'friendly' territories.

The wind of change is coming, hide your data.

Re:They will still control Google (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872342)

Did you misspell "more evil" - the evil could be about to start!

Re:They will still control Google (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872372)

Uh, I guess you don't know how things work.

The 'other 50%' is made up of hundreds of thousands of different shareholders. The fact that the founders maintain a huge block of shares will be enough to effectively keep control.

Re:They will still control Google (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872488)

Uh, i guess you don't understand.

I don't care if there are 10 or 100000 shareholders. If 50.000001% want to go left, the company goes left.

Sure, I will give you the fact that organizing 100,000 people isn't a cakewalk, but the point i am making is still valid as it can be done.

Re:They will still control Google (2, Insightful)

ppanon (16583) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872930)

It's also a lot easier if those 100,000 have their investment managed through far fewer mutual funds and pension funds.

Re:They will still control Google (4, Insightful)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872464)

It's the internet, you can't take your data back again, only pollute it.

Re:They will still control Google (5, Insightful)

Dr. Spork (142693) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872230)

Also, since Eric Schmidt isn't selling his shares, the three of them together will have far more than 50% of the voting shares. (reference [nytimes.com] )

Re:They will still control Google (5, Insightful)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872766)

You mean Mr. "If You Have Something You Don't Want Anyone To Know, Maybe You Shouldn't Be Doing It"? Sure, I'll sleep soundly tonight.

He stayed on Apple's board long after he knew about the Android move, and he's usually the one pushing the "it's technically not illegal" line. I don't see that he's the best person anyone would like to leave their data with. IMO, prepare for more Facebook-esque pranks from Google in the near future.

Re:They will still control Google (4, Interesting)

wytcld (179112) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872260)

Yeah. Anything more than 30% (or less) is sufficient to control a large public corporation. The majority of stock in a corporation like Google is held by mutual funds, who do not typically actively engage in corporate control. So 30% is more than 60% of the stock held by individuals, who are more likely to claim a voice in corporate governance. IOW, they're keeping total control, for all practical purposes.

Re:They will still control Google (2, Insightful)

iammani (1392285) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872670)

Unless those mutual funds are shell companies controlled by Chinese Govt. I have heard Chinese govt has enough shells to go unnoticed.

Re:They will still control Google (1, Insightful)

coolgeek (140561) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872328)

That's irrelevant. This is their signal that they think it's over.

Re:They will still control Google (1, Interesting)

ushering05401 (1086795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872468)

Over? This thing is just beginning. Their public moves in China did not allow the regime to save face. The criticism out of Google was way too direct following the hacking incident, and it did not leave a face saving path to resolution for the Chinese Government.

By diminishing their visibility at the helm of Google they are both hardening the target and reducing the impact that their personal and now mandatory falls from grace will have on the company. Either way, someone is going to have to feel the pain for the way the China situation was handled. Better it be the millionaires and not the foot soldiers.

Re:They will still control Google (2)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872478)

So you own a jump to conclusions mat too? I thought I was the only one.

Re:They will still control Google (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872784)

It's a jump to conclusions pogo stick.

Re:They will still control Google (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872520)

Except they still have most of their wealth in Google stock. More likely they just want some money. Bill Gates did the same thing when he started his charitable organization, so maybe they are planning on starting a charity. Or maybe they want to buy some islands somewhere. Or a small country.

Since they are cashing out together, it seems they have some joint project they want to work on. Maybe something to do with censorship in China? A several billion dollar advertising campaign could do something maybe.

Re:They will still control Google (0, Flamebait)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872564)

They're preparing their exit strategy -- also known as rats leaving the ship before it sinks...

Re:They will still control Google (3, Insightful)

Jay L (74152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872642)

This is their signal that they think it's over.

No, this is their signal that they wouldn't mind having $5.5 billion dollars around that doesn't depend on Google.

Re:They will still control Google (3, Insightful)

mindstrm (20013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872676)

It is? Perhaps it's just smart financial strategy? It's called taking profits. Their SEC requires them, along with pretty much every other insider, to file their stock selling plans ahead of time. They can't just buy & sell google stock like you and I can at a whim.

Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (4, Insightful)

solafide (845228) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872196)

Why does it matter if the founders are contributing to SS? They're hardly going to need to draw on it, so everyone else can continue paying in and later drawing out their money. Oh wait, that isn't how SS works? Drat.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (2, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872282)

Why does it matter if the founders are contributing to SS?

It goes to show how Social Security tax is not only fundamentally flawed but regressive as well. It's a tax that mostly affects everyone except those with high wealth/income.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

Ill_Omen (215625) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872306)

Not entirely. The amount you draw out of SS is proportional to the income you had while you were contributing, so their $1 income (for SS purposes) will result in smaller SS checks when they retire. How small, I couldn't tell you.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872402)

Maybe so but until the benefits start coming in a few decades down the line, the tax hurts the poor much more than higher incomes.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

Ironsides (739422) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872686)

Would this be the higher incomes who get SS benefits reduced to zero because they have other income sources? These two will probably never see a penny from Social Security, even if they were contributing now.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (5, Insightful)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872728)

These two will probably never see a penny from Social Security, even if they were contributing now.

As a 23 yr old, neither will I.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (2, Insightful)

im_thatoneguy (819432) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872870)

Unless of course they raise the cap on SS by like 10%. In which case it's fine.

Social Security isn't in any great risk.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

MPAB (1074440) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872340)

SS and progressive taxation affects qualified workers the most. And the most qualified non-financial workers make an average of less than 1/3M a year, of which half goes away in taxes. Some manage to get a huge cut on their taxes by appearing as societies of two, but most professionals are unable to do that due to the nature of their work.

Thus, when taxes are raised "on the rich", it's your surgeon and not the CEO of the clinic they're talking about.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

craklyn (1533019) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872348)

If you combine their Social Security tax with their federal income tax, these two men are paying quite progressive taxes overall.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872494)

If you combine their Social Security tax with their federal income tax, these two men are paying quite progressive taxes overall.

Um, no.

Capital gains is only 15%, IIRC. Odds are good they'll pay a lower tax rate than the average middle class household, probably by quite a lot.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872874)

Which is why we should have a VAT, rather than an income tax. A VAT actually taxes wealth.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

Itninja (937614) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872562)

Not entirely true. I am making slightly more than $75K yearly (not even close to 'high wealth' for my region) and don't pay a dime to SS because I work for a non-profit that 'opted out' of the SS program when they started back in 1967.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872628)

Holy shit... they can do that? That would be awesome. Instant 7% salary increase (14% if they pass along their portion).

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872708)

Yes they can do that. But when their employees retire they won't be drawing any social security checks.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872880)

Given the inability of Congress to fix social security, neither will anyone else.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (2, Informative)

CheeseTroll (696413) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872884)

Exactly. Some school systems (or teacher unions, whatever) are run this way - no SS, in exchange for a guaranteed pension.

Re:Why do I care about Google contributing to SS? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872506)

Why does it matter if the founders are contributing to SS? They're hardly going to need to draw on it, so everyone else can continue paying in and later drawing out their money. Oh wait, that isn't how SS works? Drat.

Man, I had no idea what SS stood for in this context. I instantly thought of Schutzstaffeln.

So now it becomes evil... (1)

Yaa 101 (664725) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872198)

We have seen that process over and over...

Re:So now it becomes evil... (1)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872248)

Or they may lose their drive/direction and flounder. We have seen that even more times.

Re:So now it becomes evil... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872534)

If you build high tech weapons and hand exclusive control of them to a bunch of psychos, your hands are not clean.

Major Cash Flow!!! (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872204)

I think China should buy all these shares, then they wouldn't need to hack anything!

Re:Major Cash Flow!!! (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872890)

I'm not sure whether this should be modded "Funny", or "Insightful". Sure, it seems like a joke when you put it like that, but as a long-term, gradual, low-profile plan? I don't just mean Google, I mean any company that has more than 50% of its shares in fragments. They would need proxies, of course, and some way to mask the money trail. Is it that far-fetched for a government that employs hacking in such a blatant manner?

Will this mean there's no "vision" at Google? (3, Interesting)

ifwm (687373) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872222)

Google has always appeared to me as a company that was moved by the vision of its founders. While the "do no evil" policy has been... flexible, there has always been a sort of philanthropic, "we get why you hate Microsoft, we want to be different" type of thing with Google.

I wonder how long that will last with the founder no longer in control.

Re:Will this mean there's no "vision" at Google? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872470)

I don't know, this stuff where they scanned hundreds of thousands of books into their database for commercial advantage without permission of authors or publishers seems pretty close to the "evil" line to me, if not crossing over it.

Of course, they have legal opinion saying that it is perfectly justified and above-board. So does Microsoft and every other big corporation that does something similarly controversial.

Re:Will this mean there's no "vision" at Google? (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872704)

The founders will pretty much be in control. I don't think it'll end up being, "Well, sir, the shareholders say that we have to eat all these babies because the Chinese are going to pay a million dollars to televise it. So I've brought you some forks and napkins. Bon apetit!"

The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (4, Informative)

Just Brew It! (636086) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872236)

The profits from selling of their shares will be considered income by the IRS, and taxed accordingly.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872286)

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (5, Interesting)

nodwick (716348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872310)

Except that money from capital gains are not subject to either Social Security or Medicare. Taxes for those programs are deducted from employment income, not investment income. Furthermore, capital gains tax rates are significantly lower than those for ordinary income - currently the former is capped at 15% [wikipedia.org] , while the latter is 39% [wikipedia.org] . Not a knock on the Google founders specifically, but rather on the wealthy in general - as Warren Buffet has pointed out, our tax system is skewed so that wealthy folks like himself pay an effective tax rate of 17.7% [nytimes.com] , while his secretary is taxed at 30%.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1)

istartedi (132515) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872462)

At least that's true for long term gains. Short term gains are ordinary income. So... as we approach the point where people have been holding a stock for more than a year (AFAIK, that's the definition the IRS uses), we get an interesting decision point. This has interesting implications for stocks having rallied off their lows, and this past week's drop in the market may be a manifestation of that since people who bought low in the late '08 crash can now cash out at the lower rate.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (4, Interesting)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872496)

...as Warren Buffet has pointed out, our tax system is skewed so that wealthy folks like himself pay an effective tax rate of 17.7% [nytimes.com] , while his secretary is taxed at 30%.

Can someone please tell me why we just don't move to a simple flat tax rate? You make minimum wage? You pay X%. You're lower middle class? You pay the same X%. You're upper class? You pay the sam X%. You're the CEO of a fortune 500 company? You pay the same X%.

This way politicians would have to upset everyone in order to raise taxes and couldn't single out certain groups based on which one is most likely to put up with it (or is unable to vote them out). If they want/need to increase taxes, it must affect ALL of their constituents.

Also, as long as what is taxed is clearly defined, it makes tax codes a LOT simpler. Easier job for the IRS, accountants, employers, and employees.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (5, Interesting)

Trepidity (597) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872538)

Well, it depends on what you mean by "a flat tax". People pushing the flat tax, like Steve Forbes, have typically been pushing for a flat tax on wage and salary income, but that excludes capital gains entirely. One flat tax of x% for the working schmucks, and another flat tax of 0% for the trust-fund kids like Steve Forbes.

If it were a flat tax that included capital gains, that might have a better chance of going somewhere, but the major flat-tax proponents have not been pushing that. Though even in that case you would have a bunch of entrenched popular deductions that people would try to pull in, like the mortgage-interest deduction, the deduction on money donated to charity, etc.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872572)

Yeah but it's still complicated. You pay X% of what exactly? There are all sorts of ways to come into money. You have to figure out which times count towards tax and which don't.

Note, you can't say "it's always taxed" because that would lead to money being taxed multiple times for no reason, therefor massively increasing the tax many people pay. For example, say my company hires some independent contractors to do some work today. Some of the money I get will be passed straight from me to them and they are responsible for paying the taxes on it. I don't pay any taxes on that money I passed to them (which makes sense, no reason to tax me for money I did not get). This is just a very simple example, any other new tax system needs to account for things like that and it gets complicated very quickly.

The system does need an overhaul though. There is so much wasted money in the current system. If we had a more streamlined system then the government could probably lower taxes and still end up collecting more in the long run just from the savings from not having to process complicated the shit they have to now... and people would save money the same way, by not having to spend so much wasted time on tax related crap.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872584)

It would start simple, but by the time the combined bill passed both houses of Congress, it would have so many exceptions and exemptions that it wouldn't look much like a flat tax. For example, what about the deduction for interest payments on a primary home mortgage? You aren't going to get a majority of Congressmen and Senators to eliminate that, even if the overall rate goes down.

And we're not even talking about the state tax codes yet.

Then, as the years pass, the clauses and exemptions would increase until the new and improved code resembled the old, at least in terms of volume. That's what Congressmen and state legislators do. You might have noticed that there are quite a few lobbyists in Washington and political action groups in general, and they have enough money to spend on both advertising and campaign contributions (and occasional outright bribes) to have a say in who gets re-elected.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (2, Interesting)

bidule (173941) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872740)

Can someone please tell me why we just don't move to a simple flat tax rate? You make minimum wage? You pay X%. You're lower middle class? You pay the same X%. You're upper class? You pay the sam X%. You're the CEO of a fortune 500 company? You pay the same X%.

If you need 20k to make ends meet and you get 30k, you won't be happy if the flat rate is 33%.

If you need 40k to make ends meet and you get 100k, you won't be happy if the flat rate is 33%. But at least you'll be able to put away 25k for retirement.

If you need 80k to make ends meet and you get 300k, you won't care if the flat rate is 33%. After all, you still get 120k to invest. After 5 years, you can more than hire a 30k maid just on interests, who still won't be able to make ends meet. {30k spent = 45k income, on 600k = 7.5%}

Pure flat tax would work if income vs need was linear, but it's closer to exponential. Moreover, your driver will be company expenses since you can work on the way, while the bus pass will come from the maid's pocket change. Not that it's unfair, but just to show the solution ain't that easy.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (2, Insightful)

bgarcia (33222) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872834)

The simple solution to that is to make everybody's first $A of income tax-free. Then charge a flat X% rate on all income above that.

It'll never happen because the politicians use the tax code for control more than to raise funds.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (4, Insightful)

Conception (212279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872816)

One reason is a flat tax, just as sales tax, has a more significant impact on the poor. If the tax rate is 10% and you make $100 a weak, the difference between 100 and 90 is pretty significant. If you make 10,000 a weak, the different between 9000 and 10,000 is far less significant. So, a flat tax is "fair" but only from a certain set of principles.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872500)

Not a knock on the Google founders specifically, but rather on the wealthy in general - as Warren Buffet has pointed out, our tax system is skewed so that wealthy folks like himself pay an effective tax rate of 17.7%, while his secretary is taxed at 30%.

Funny how rich people always complain that they are taxed more than the middle class or poor. Of course they are taxed MORE in total sum, but the percentage of how much they are taxed is much LESS - as you pointed out. I'm sure 30% taxes to a family making $50,000 a year is much more of a burden than 30% to a family making $5 million a year. Of course it is obvious that one should live within their means, but I think it is not as difficult to live within ones means when they are making a 7 figure income versus a 5 figure income.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (0)

mschuyler (197441) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872568)

The fact is (and you can look this up for yourself, the top 1% of taxpayers (all those really rich folks) pay 1/3 of all income taxes. The top half of all taxpayers (still considered rich by many here) pay 97% of all income tax. Over 40 million households pay no income tax at all. That's why it is so difficult to give a "fair" (not) tax break to the bottom half of the population. They don't pay enough tax to give them a cut on.

P.S. Of course, that's not the only tax burden people acquire. Sales taxes aren't based on income, so you can say the 'poor' are unfairly burdened by a tax like that. And, so, too do widows on social security being taxed out of their homes because of high property taxes. So I'm not satying the poor are fairly taxed.

But I do get sick and tired of people claiming the burden of income taxes is on the rich when the 'rich' (depending on how you define them: Usually those who make more than you do) pay 97% of the income taxes already.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1, Insightful)

micheas (231635) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872652)

The missing number that allows you to lie with statistics is: what percentage of the income is made by the top 1% of tax payers? I would guess it is about 98.8% Do you see the problem with your argument now?

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872790)

what percentage of the income is made by the top 1% of tax payers?

I would guess it is about 98.8%

Your guess is most likely way off base. I don't know what percentage of income the top 1% makes, but according to household income statistics [wikipedia.org] the average income of the top 5% of earners is less than 10 times that of the average income of the lowest 20% of earners. I don't think capitalism (or civilized society, for that matter) would work if 1% of the populace was taking home 99% of the pie.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872872)

so what the reason for lower capital gains is to encorage investment - what realy is bad is the 1$ salary which is tax aavoidance scheam.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1)

wizardforce (1005805) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872322)

Anything over 100,000 or so a year isn't taxed for Medicare/Social security. At ~15% up to 100,000 that's ~15,000 in taxes which to them is a nearly irrelevant sum. As for taxes on their sold shares, I believe that the IRS considers it taxable as capital gains which incurrs a tax of 20% (after the Bush tax cut sunsets)

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1)

Pharmboy (216950) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872614)

It isn't taxed for Social Security after $110k (i think, it goes up each year), but it is taxed for Medicare. Medicare doesn't have a cap, you pay a percentage of everything that is "salary".

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (2, Insightful)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872346)

Er... no. The profits will be taxed as capital gains. The top capital gains rate is 15 percent I believe, and there's no social security or medicare tax on capital gains. So they'll pay tax at a considerably lower rate than someone who works at McDonald's.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1)

gb506 (738638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872536)

"Er... no. The profits will be taxed as capital gains. The top capital gains rate is 15 percent I believe, and there's no social security or medicare tax on capital gains. So they'll pay tax at a considerably lower rate than someone who works at McDonald's"

Yes, but if they worked at McDonalds there would be no Google, and if there were no Google the federal govt wouldn't be getting 15% of the sale of Sergey and Brin's $5.5Bn of Google stock, or $825 million.

Don't you wish they worked at McDonalds?

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (0, Troll)

superdude72 (322167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872594)

Don't you wish they worked at McDonalds?

No. I just wish they paid more taxes.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (2, Insightful)

groslyunderpaid (950152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872632)

No, I just wish I paid less taxes.

FTFY

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1)

gb506 (738638) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872896)

"No. I just wish they paid more taxes."

Well, then it appears you're uninformed. If you tax cap gains at a higher rate, you make it less likely that people will exercise a sale due to high tax pain, which in this case means it'd be more likely that the 4.x billion dollars that S&B will have to spend and invest ways would never make it into the economy. Perhaps S&B will use the $4bn funding the next Google, or the 21st century's version of Jonas Salk, or maybe it's as simple as providing work for a few thousand people who will build homes and aircraft for them. Maybe they'll use it to fund a new source of clean energy. Unsold, the paper wealth would just sit there on a balance sheet doing nothing - the economy would not see the 4.x billion, and the federal govt would not see the $825 million while S&B wait for a more hospitable tax environment.

Would you want that to happen just to see your pound of flesh extracted? You should be appreciative of the 15% cap gain rate, not the reverse.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872540)

Yeah, except the person paying income tax and FICA may be paying a lower *rate*, but seriously, 15% of $2.5 Billion is 300 Million Dollars. As for there being no SS/Medicare on the capital gains taxes, does that really matter? Money is liquid - like water, it will flow to the lowest point. When Congress starts coming up short of money for SS/Medicare, they will move money around as necessary, I would think. In any case, Congress 'borrowed' money from SS for many years, so it needs all the 'general' tax revenues it can get to 'pay back' to Soc. Security.

Re:The SS/Medicare comment is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872776)

By taxed i assume you mean stolen.

Capital Gains not income (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872862)

income would it not be considered captial gains shurely

Evil (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872266)

When they are out of power the company can start doing evil. That's when they will really rake in the bucks.

We always see these stupid stories when they sell (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872312)

If they ever plan on selling anything they are required to plan ahead so they can meet all those filing requirements.

Is it evil for them to sell? Even eviler to make money? No idea of how much of their totals shares are sold? Just useless speculation and even more useless drivel about all that horrible capitalism. When, in fact they are giving up control with these sales. Those horrible capitalist baby killers.

Escape before they go Enron crazy! (1, Troll)

smith6174 (986645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872314)

You know, unless they actually believe Google is about to fall apart, they wouldn't be selling. They are in a position to know whether or not Google really is the awesome and profitable machine everyone thinks it is. 6.4 billion in ad revenue in the latest reported quarter, almost 66% of it from Adwords on Google sites. Do you really think that many people use pay-per-click every three months? The Google story has "too good to be true" written all over it. I wouldn't be surprised if there is some serious money laundering going on.

Re:Escape before they go Enron crazy! (1)

groslyunderpaid (950152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872356)

Except they will be selling the shares over the coarse of 5 years...

Re:Escape before they go Enron crazy! (1)

smith6174 (986645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872440)

Except they will be selling the shares over the coarse of 5 years...

And?... If they thought Google stock would be worth more in 5 years, why would they be making the decision and telling us about their plans to sell it now? 5 years is way longer than any insider transaction reporting requirements.

Re:Escape before they go Enron crazy! (4, Insightful)

groslyunderpaid (950152) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872608)

Because their salary is $1 and they want to spend some money?

If my salary was $1 and I had over a billion in stocks you best believe I'd be cashing some of it out....

Re:Escape before they go Enron crazy! (1)

smith6174 (986645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872690)

Because their salary is $1 and they want to spend some money? If my salary was $1 and I had over a billion in stocks you best believe I'd be cashing some of it out....

Why don't we get real for a minute? If these guys were forced to live like they only earned $1 I would agree with you completely. They own the company you moron! They can pay themselves whatever they want without selling the stock. They can also buy anything they want in the name of Google and not pay any taxes on it.

Re:Escape before they go Enron crazy! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872446)

2.7 billion each buys a lot of strippe^h^h^h^h^h^h^h^hcharitable activities.

Re:Escape before they go Enron crazy! (1, Insightful)

iamhassi (659463) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872474)

I agree. Google has peaked. Android has gone no where, chrome hasn't made a significant dent, and the google phone Nexus hasn't upset the iPhone. I don't expect their os to upset windows either. If I had a billion to invest in tech stocks I'd go apple. The iPhone still has less than 20% of the market share so it has a long way it could go, and I think once people get iPhones they might give os x another look.

Re:Escape before they go Enron crazy! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872554)

how long has the nexus even been on the market...2 weeks? and it hasn't upset the iphone? shocking!

who cares why they're cashing ish in. how smart is it to have all your wealth tied up in something as volatile as the stock market?

Re:Escape before they go Enron crazy! (1)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872764)

Android gone nowhere? Are you just making stuff up?

Google's Android's market share compares well with Apple's iPhone [computerworld.com]

And that's from May, as in before the Droid hit the market.

Better Link (3, Informative)

beakerMeep (716990) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872812)

Android makes impressive gains in Q4 [zdnet.com]

They went from 1% to 16% in a year.

Re:Better Link (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872914)

LOL. These data are skewed for sure. I don't know here anyone using Apple's Chinese Mobile. Nokia has the biggest share for sure (N95, N96, E-series, etc.). WinMo devices from HTC, Samsung etc. are second (people like open systems here and want to install anything they want - very popular for GPS). Android just starting to get some attention.

Watch how fast Google goes into decline (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872366)

Both in stock value and quality of Google works will doubtlessly fall apart when they lose control of the company. Oh well. Another one bites the dust.

Holy crap! (3, Funny)

EnsilZah (575600) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872466)

They're liquidating their assets and moving to their moonbase!

So much for "Don't be evil"? (1)

Jason_D_Berg (745832) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872472)

It'll be interesting to see how good (un-evil) this company remains as more and more control is handed off to the market. The founders may have had this ideal of remaining good for the sake of the future image of the company, but Wall St is typically concerned with growth at all costs. I really trust Google with my information. I think their current model will protect it. But what happens when Wall St decides that the founders aren't getting them the growth they desire (even if profits are through the roof)? Will they be pushed out? Will "don't be evil" turn into "try not to be evil unless it can maximize your profit."? This is probably a good thing to consider before pushing everything into the "trusted" cloud.

At this rate (1)

aoeu (532208) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872580)

neither Larry nor Sergei will ever be eligible for Social Security. Google is now on track to become what John Kenneth Galbraith called a mature corporation.

The real question is - (2, Interesting)

Geminii (954348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872718)

What are they planning to do with the money? Simply kick back and relax? Or now that Google's reached cruising speed, are they likely to be looking around for new challenges?

Re:The real question is - (1)

smith6174 (986645) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872752)

Good question! What are they planning to do with the money? Something that the shareholders of Google wouldn't approve of I think, since otherwise they would do it with Google money and not be forced to pay taxes.

It is about time (-1, Troll)

MikeURL (890801) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872786)

This is a mature company and should never have been under the thumb of two shareholders to begin with. Maybe now the company will stop wasting money on projects with a shit ROI and return some of the profits to shareholders in the form of dividends.

Re:It is about time (1)

Vintermann (400722) | more than 4 years ago | (#30872950)

Boo! That's not why we have Google. There are a billion companies which will do that for you. Google the company for fantasizing about space elevators and still managing to be insanely profitable in their spare time.

They should be proud ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30872852)

that they are paying their fair share of taxes to support the war on terror and to support all the military that protect the oil resources that make their lives so comfortable. Hey, maybe they could join up and do their bit.

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