Facebook Won't Be Rushed Into Going Public Like Google

from the well,-it's-financials-are-quite-a-bit-worse... dept

Throughout 2002 and 2003 there was a ton of speculation concerning when Google would "finally" go public. Everyone knew the company was making a lot of money and growing fast, but it wasn't clear how big the company was nor how successful. The company's top execs insisted that they did not want to go public and tried to avoid any discussion of it. However, in early 2004, the company tripped a specific level that required them to start reporting their earnings publicly. If you have over 500 shareholders, even as a private company, you are required to file earnings reports, just as if you were a public company -- and at that point, Google execs realized there was no additional benefit in remaining private. So that single event pushed Google to finally IPO, and some were beginning to wonder if the same might push Facebook into an oncoming IPO.

It looks like that won't be happening.

Facebook's lawyers requested and received a special exemption from the SEC, allowing the company to not report its earnings publicly, even if it goes over 500 shareholders (which is likely to happen relatively soon). The exemption will remain in place until the company decides to go public or is acquired. You have to think that some folks at Google are kicking themselves for not trying to do the same thing. Either way, it's pretty clear that Facebook doesn't have the financial numbers that Google had at the time it went public, either -- so forcing Facebook to go public at this time probably would have made a lot less sense than it did for Google, who had fantastic earnings.

Filed Under: ipos, sec
Companies: facebook, google

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  1. identicon
    ScaredofTheMan, 24 Nov 2008 @ 5:08am

    Facebook = Hotmail

    Seth Godin said it best, to paraphrase, Facebook (at the moment) = Hotmail before MS bought them, huge page veiws but no good way to monetize the traffic. Anything they add except for classified ads will require an interruption or deviation of why you came to the site so its a difficult proposition to sell.

    Sure they can do highly targeted but still, if I am ignoring all the ads that show up in my mini feed, then their result l rate will not be so good.

    That being said, I personally Love FB and I hope they stay this way a long time.

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