Google wants to conclude its share auction Tuesday, setting the stage for its stock to go public Wednesday, according to a statement on its IPO (initial public offering) Web site.

The search technology company has requested that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) declare its IPO registration statement effective at 4pm EDT (9pm BST) on Tuesday, it told potential bidders on the Web. After an IPO registration statement is declared effective, the stock can be publicly traded.

Google's auction to determine the price of the shares in its IPO would end then and underwriters would be able to accept investors' bids. The auction, Google's unusual method for determining the price of IPO shares, began Friday.

The company's IPO, under which it would trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol "GOOG," is one of the most highly anticipated high-tech offerings in recent years. In its prospectus, Google set the price range at $108 to $135 per share. However, auction bids may be above, within or below this range, and Google and the underwriters of the IPO may revise the price range based on demand in the auction, the prospectus said.

Also Tuesday, the company revealed that the SEC has launched an informal inquiry into unregistered shares and options it issued to employees and consultants between September 2001 and June 2004. Regulators from some states, including California, also have requested more information about the situation, the company said in its Form 10Q. The shares and options may not have been exempt from registration under federal and state laws, Google revealed earlier this month. The company has offered to repurchase the shares, a move that could cost it about $25.9 million.