Facebook IPO nearing May pay day

Summary:All signs reportedly point to a May lift-off for Facebook's much-hyped initial public offering (IPO).

All signs reportedly point to a May lift-off for Facebook's much-hyped initial public offering (IPO).

According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is eyeing a May launch date for an IPO that could value the company at about US$100 million.

In addition, Facebook has halted trading on the private secondary market, according to Bloomberg.

All these steps point to a launch date that's just a few weeks away. The Journal cautioned that the actual week that Facebook's IPO launches is fluid pending the go-ahead from the SEC.

Yahoo patent suit

The social-networking giant has also been working up its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. On Tuesday, Facebook updated its prospectus to note that Yahoo's patent lawsuit against the company could be material.

There aren't many changes to speak of — except that Facebook has included notes about the recent lawsuit that Yahoo handed the social network over patent infringement earlier this month.

Although it's not a secret to anyone at this point, it's a good idea for Facebook to cover its bases anyway — both with the SEC and investors.

Actually, Facebook hinted at a pending legal battle with Yahoo in Amendment No. 2 to the IPO, filed on 7 March.

In that memo, Facebook admitted that it is presently "involved in a number of lawsuits", and that trend is likely to continue as the world's largest social network faces "increasing competition".

Specifically in regards to Yahoo, Facebook received a letter from Yahoo on 27 February, which "alleged that a number of our products infringe the claims of 13 of Yahoo's patents". At the time, Facebook was "still in the process of investigating the allegations contained in the letter".

In Amendment No. 3 filed earlier today, Facebook updated the SEC with the following note:

For example, on 12 March 2012, Yahoo filed a lawsuit against us in the US District Court for the Northern District of California that alleges that a number of our products infringe the claims of 10 of Yahoo's patents that Yahoo claims relate to "advertising", "social networking", "privacy", "customisation" and "messaging".

Yahoo is seeking unspecified damages, a damage multiplier for alleged wilful infringement, and an injunction. We have not yet filed an answer or asserted any counter-claims with respect to this complaint. We intend to vigorously defend this lawsuit. This litigation is still in its early stages and the final outcome, including our liability, if any, with respect to these claims, is uncertain. If an unfavourable outcome were to occur in this litigation, the impact could be material to our business, financial condition or results of operations.

Via ZDNet US

Topics: Social Enterprise


Larry Dignan is Editor in Chief of ZDNet and SmartPlanet as well as Editorial Director of ZDNet's sister site TechRepublic. He was most recently Executive Editor of News and Blogs at ZDNet. Prior to that he was executive news editor at eWeek and news editor at Baseline. He also served as the East Coast news editor and finance editor at CN... Full Bio

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Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider, FastCompany.com, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for MainStreet.com, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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