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Why Google Is Issuing a New Kind of Toothless Stock

Here’s a philosophical question Google investors can ponder this morning: If you own stock in the tech giant, would you rather have voting rights that are essentially worthless or ones that are literally worthless?

A new “C” class of Google shares will begin trading on Thursday under the familiar GOOG ticker. This stock gives its owners zero votes at the annual shareholder meeting. That sounds bad. In practice, however, the nonvoting shares won’t be so different from holders of Google’s “A” class shares, which get one vote apiece. Both groups are dominated by holders of the only shares that matter: class “B” shares with 10 votes each. Most of those are owned by Google’s founders, Sergey Brin and Larry Page.