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Google Inc.’s highly anticipated Initial Public Offering took a major step toward reaching the stock market late Friday when the online search engine leader opened the Web site where prospective investors must register to bid for the company’s shares. The site,, is setup to be the first stop for anyone interested in getting a piece of an initial public offering expected to rank among the largest in the stock market’s history.

Unfortunately though, the process of registering on the site to become part of the auction is taking longer than anticipated, causing the IPO to be delayed by at least a week. Morgan Stanley and Credit Suisse First Boston, who are leading the IPO, are also said to be having trouble with the auction style format that had never been tried before.

Officially, Google had never set a date for the deal, though people familiar with the matter had pegged the date for next week. Google had said it would be about a week from the time it activated the Web site on which investors can register until they priced. That site opened last Friday.