Internet search leader Google could go public early next year and is considering holding a huge online auction of its shares, according to a report published Thursday.
The Financial Times (FT) said in its online edition that Google executives met with a number of investment bankers last week to gauge their interest in an initial public offering (IPO). A decision by the 5-year-old search giant to go public is expected to create enormous excitement among investors, the FT said, and the company could be valued at between US$15 billion and $25 billion.
Furthermore, Google is reportedly considering an online auction of its shares, which would prevent prices being set by an investment bank, the FT said.
Since its inception in 1998, the plucky start-up has taken the online search market by storm, and now claims to process more than 200 million queries a day. Google has also racked up deals with other major Internet players such as America Online Inc. (AOL) and Amazon.com Inc.
Representatives for the Mountain View, California, company were not immediately available to comment on the report Friday.