Google Inc. made its first foray into the bond market with a $3 billion sale to pay back short-term borrowings at relative yields comparable to companies with the highest credit grade.

The bond sale was "a home run for Google," said Lon Erickson, a money manager at Thornburg Investment Management Inc. in Santa Fe, New Mexico, who oversees $9 billion. "The big pile of cash on the balance sheet and continued cash generation makes people plenty comfortable to own that debt."

Google, with total cash and marketable securities of $35 billion at year-end, according a regulatory filing, is tapping the corporate bond market as investment-grade borrowing costs tumble to about the lowest since November. Chief Executive Officer Larry Page, who replaced Eric Schmidt last month, is ramping up spending to expand in mobile and video advertising even as U.S. and European authorities mount investigations into the company's business practices.

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