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In order to register for a bidder ID through this web site, you must be a U.S. person.
Is this fair?
I don't know much about buying shares, is it usual for a company to exclude foreign investors?
Try: [ars.userfriendly.org...] instead ;)
Is it fair? No, but what's "fair" got to do with anything?! Google can sell its shares to whom it likes, and it is probably far less hassle limiting it to US citizens only.
I could imagine limiting the IPO to US-citizens only is a bit to show off that they are an American company and stand to American values.
Just my 2c
P.S. From what I heard here in "old Europe" is that you CAN'T use a US broker since you need to supply a social security number.
Sure I could. My concern is more about the political message this kind of exclusion gives out.
You worried about this "exclusion"? If I was investor in Google I'd be more worried about the fact that company sells lots of shares for a lot of money but retains control via 2-tier shareholding structure. Its as if Google wanted to have cake and eat it - temporary illusion that it is actually happening is possible, but its only temporary, and its an illusion.