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is-there-a-cheap-stock-issue-for-google-after-the

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I'm no lawyer not a securities expert, but I have sold some companies and one issue we had to deal with when selling to a public company was "cheap stock". The concern is that a company might distribute stock cheaply to insiders before going public, then sell it at a premium. (I guess the regulation protects the existing shareholders?) It is also an issue for employees who get options before an IPO. Options that are granted with the strike price equal to the value of the underlying are not taxed because there is no gain. But if the next day the stock triples because of an IPO, was the valuation correct? Are taxes owed? This regulation makes more sense to me, because Uncle Sam likes his taxes.

So, today, when I read in GigaOm about the equity the record companies got in the YouTube deal, the first thing I thought about was 'cheap stock'. I'm sure that all the parties to the deal have very, very good lawyers advising them, but wow, $50,000,000 in a few hours? That sounds cheap to me.

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