Originally published: February 1, 2012
Last updated: February 2, 2012 - 8:58am
Facebook, the vast online social network, took its first step toward becoming a publicly traded company as it filed to sell shares on the stock market. The service, hatched in a Harvard dormitory room nearly eight years ago, is on track to be the largest Internet initial public offering ever — trumping Google’s in 2004 or Netscape’s nearly a decade before that.
In its filing, Facebook, which has more than 845 million users worldwide, said it was seeking to raise $5 billion, according to a figure used to calculate the registration fee. The company will seek to have the ticker “FB” for its shares, but did not list an exchange. But many close to the company say that Facebook is aiming for a far greater offering that would value it near $100 billion.
At that lofty valuation, Facebook would be much bigger than many longer-established American companies, including Abbott Labs, Caterpillar, Kraft Foods, Goldman Sachs and Ford Motor.
Facebook, unlike any other site, has come to define the social era of the Web. More than a portal, its value lies in its dynamic network of social connections and the massive amount of information shared by its users. Facebook, in many ways, is a data processor, archiving and analyzing every shred of information, from our interests, to our locations, to every article and link that we “like.” The collection of data is a potential goldmine for advertisers, keen to better understand and target consumers.
From Founders to Decorators, Facebook Riches (NYTimes)
‘Social Mission’ Vision Meets Wall Street (NYTimes)
Facebook Sets Historic IPO (WSJ)
Facebook reveals what makes its network tick (FT)
Facebook files – all you need to know (FT)
With Facebook IPO, time to friend privacy (CSM)
Facebook IPO: Are users really worth $125 each? (CSM)
Post-IPO Facebook may get more D.C. scrutiny (Politico)
Facebook Cites Google+, Shift to Mobile Devices Among Its Potential Risks (Bloomberg)
Zuckerberg Controlling 57% of Facebook Seen as Risk to Investors (Bloomberg)
Facebook IPO: What the filing reveals about the company’s data centers (WashPost)
How much do Facebook’s top execs make? (WashPost)
In filing, Facebook outlines its vulnerabilities (LATimes)
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