Google gets it. This article reports that they're likely to use Hambrecht's OpenIPO system. Why is this so cool
Well, almost no one has used the Net to sell IPOs. Why not? In theory, it's a great mechanism - the closest thing to a frictionless market that exists outside textbooks.
In reality, i-banks have a great deal to gain from paper IPOs - where they rake in massive underwriting fees, and as the last few years have shown, can exploit information asymmetries to give their most favored and biggest clients preferential treatment. Basically, shares on the cheap and in private, which they can resell for big bucks.
So basically, Google is going to risk it's IPO to help build the cred of the OpenIPO system. At the same time, by doing this, it sends a strong signal to the market about the not-so-kosher dealing of the bigger banks and about how their incentives are basically to pump and dump IPOs wherever and whenever possible. If the report is on the level.