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Wow, this is really strange. Has there been any precedent for things like this?

Many large companies in other sectors are structured like this. Google, through its diverse acquisitions has now, in that sense, become like a lot of the older conglomerates like GE, Berkshire Hathaway, Raytheon, DuPont, Honeywell, UTC, 3M, etc. To different extents, these are all organized like Alphabet will be. Take branding: core products may be sold under the company's name, other products may be sold in a nearly autonomous fashion. Similarly, quarterly earnings calls are centered on the performance of each of these sub-units.

I thought the GP was asking whether a conglomerate was formed in this bottom-up restructuring before. Many of the other conglomerates seemed to have become large through parent companies making or buying subsidiaries, not a subsidiary forming the parent.

Yes, that's exactly what I was asking.

Look at the history of conglomerates like Mitsubishi, or Berkshire Hathaway. Alphabet is remarkable since it's a very organized and name-concerned conglomeration, though.

i'd say it makes perfect sense. google search becomes google, and the rest of the company (cars, cubesat internet, balloon internet, more down-to-earth ideas) belong somewhere else.

It does make sense. Honestly, Sergey and larry have been complaining about this for a long time.

But what makes this hard to believe is that they actually called it Alphabet, Inc. It has got to be april fools!

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