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Google fund?

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BRIAN WATT: The truth is, Google’s got a lot of cash. Maybe even too much. You’d think too much money is usually a good thing, but for Google, it comes with some extra attention from the Securities and Exchange Commission. It also comes with an unwanted title: mutual fund. Jason Paur explains.


JASON PAUR: The problem isn’t a new one, in fact it’s from the Investment Company act of 1940.

The rule says if more than 40 percent of a company’s assets are in securities, it can be regulated as a mutual fund.

Google is seeking an exemption, saying its main business is not money management.

But investment attorney Nicole Griffin says proving you’re using the money for something else can take years.

NICOLE GRIFFIN: In the application for exemptive release the company has to make certain representations and describe its business and describe how it’s going to use the proceeds. And the SEC is going to go through and verify those facts.

Google’s hope is to join some of its competitors, including Microsoft and Yahoo, both of which have already received exemptions from the rule.

I’m Jason Paur for Marketplace.

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