The internet search engine said on Monday it had asked regulators to give it authority to sell shares on Tuesday and possibly start trading when the Nasdaq opens soon after.

  

But the Securities and Exchange Commission must declare Google's registration statement effective before shares can be sold to the public.

  

And the company has already hit an unexpected bump after its co-founders laid bare corporate details in an interview with Playboy magazine.

  

Playboy interview

 

Google said on Friday it believed the splash, entitled Playboy Interview: Google Guys, abided by securities regulations - but often such interviews are restricted ahead of an initial public offering (IPO).

  

"If our involvement in a September 2004 magazine article about Google were held to be in violation of the Securities Act of 1933, we could be required to repurchase securities sold in this offering," Google said.

  

However, a source close to the SEC said the market regulator would not stop the offering, but could not rule out future action against Google.

  

Serious money

 

Google's shares will trade based on the highest price achieved in an auction held on Friday.

 

The Mountain View, California-based company expects to sell 25.7 million shares at between $108 and $135 a share - depending on the outcome of the bidding.

  

If the price reaches the upper estimate, its total stock market value could be more than $36 billion, putting it on a par with its internet rival Yahoo.