Oct

6

Google has turned into a corporate monster in the blink of an eye. The pace of its evolution has been bewildering, both for the company and for its investors. Many people still think of it as a cool start-up, when in fact it is already a Shell or a Volkswagen - a lumbering corporate beast, with little sign of intelligence left, but with enough muscle to ensure its own survival.

In the past few months, Google's own share price suggests the market has grown uneasy about it. The shares peaked at $471 in January, and have fallen back to $400 since then. Have the Google founders or directors been into the market to snap them up at those bargain prices? Funnily enough, they haven't. Since restrictions on stock sales were lifted in February, Google's directors have sold $7.4 billion of stock.

Google isn't about to disappear. It remains a formidable search and advertising machine. And who knows, one of its dozens of new products might turn out to be a hit. But world domination? Forget it. In truth, the company has already peaked. [read more (requires log-in)]

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