Federal regulators did not authorize Google's initial public offering to proceed as of late Tuesday, a deadline the company set on the road to its highly awaited IPO.
"We have not declared the registration statement effective," John Heine, a spokesman for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, said after Google's requested deadline of 1 p.m. PDT.
Although Heine would not say when it would authorize the documents, its clearance is necessary before Google can price its 24.6 million shares for sale to the public. Bidding for the shares began Friday and was set to close this afternoon, when Google had asked the SEC to declare its registration effective.
Problems add up as market debut draws near.
People familiar with the deal have said pricing of the shares is not likely to occur until sometime after the market closes Wednesday, with the shares trading Thursday. But any delay by the SEC could fumble the timing.
Google has stumbled many times on the way to its much-ballyhooed IPO, which is expected to raise between $2.7 billion and $3.3 billion.
On Monday, the company notified investors that the SEC and state regulators have begun investigating the issuance of 28 million shares to employees and consultants that weren't registered under law.
Last Friday, Google filed an amendment to its prospectus cautioning investors that a recent Playboy magazine article featuring company co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin could violate SEC rules governing its "quiet period." The company said it would vigorously fight any such determination on the part of SEC regulators, however.
Google has placed a price range of $108 to $135 for the shares, but many industry watchers expect the deal to price below that range.