Facebook Updates Status, Files For IPO

Facebook made a much-anticipated status update Wednesday as the Internet social network went public eight years after CEO Mark Zuckerberg started the service at Harvard University.

That means anyone with the right amount of cash will be able to own part of a Silicon Valley icon that quickly transformed from dorm-room startup to cultural touchstone.

If its initial public offering of stock makes enough friends on Wall Street, Facebook will probably make its stock-market debut in three or four months as one of the world's most valuable companies. Facebook, which is now based in Menlo Park, Calif., hopes to list its shares under the ticker symbol, "FB," on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market.

In its regulatory filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Facebook Inc. indicated it hopes to raise $5 billion in its IPO. That would be the most for an Internet IPO since Google Inc. and its early backers raised $1.9 billion in 2004. The final amount will likely change as Facebook's bankers gauge the investor demand.

Joining corporate America's elite would give Facebook newfound financial clout as it tries to make its service even more pervasive and expand its audience of 845 million users. It also could help Facebook fend off an intensifying challenge from Google, which is looking to solidify its status as the Internet's most powerful company with a rival social network called Google+.

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  • by Shine Location: NE NC on Feb 2, 2012 at 02:25 AM
    Funny how they call it 'IPO' - Initial Public Offering is only offered to a few but the 'initial' is never offered to the public. I don't play stocks but I keep up w/ it ---- has always been funny why they call it that - just a play on words.
    • reply
      by Truth on Feb 2, 2012 at 04:42 AM in reply to Shine
      I agree and excellent point. There are more companies that are trying to be more "public"-friendly in their IPO's. Google did, to a degree, when they launched their IPO as a Dutch-style auction. The route Google took didn't work out quite as well as anticipated, but it was an effort--and the attempt to give the "public" more IPO access was requested/stipulated by Google management. It is rumored that Facebook is making a similar attempt, though not Dutch-style--given the semi-success Google achieved that way. All back-channel rumors for now, but FB is trying to find a way to, in the least, make 10-15% of it's IPO shares truly "public." The US is the only country in the world whose stock exchanges do not give equal footing to both corporate and general-public investors. That needs to change.

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