Page last updated at 12:26 GMT, Sunday, 24 January 2010

Google co-founders to sell shares

Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin
Page and Brin founded Google 11 years ago while at university

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are selling 10 million of their shares, raising $5.5bn (£3.4bn) at today's prices.

The stock sale means they will no longer have majority control. Their 59% voting rights will be reduced to 48% when the sale is completed.

Shares will be sold over a period of five years to avoid hurting the stock price as much as possible.

"They are both as committed as ever to Google," a spokeswoman said.

"They are integrally involved in our day-to-day management and product strategy. The majority of their net worth remains with Google" she added.

The fact that the pair are ceding majority control is seen as more symbolic than practical. Mr Brin and Mr Page run Google together with the chief executive Eric Schmidt, who has 10% voting power.

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