All eyes have been on social kingpin Facebook ever since the company filed its S-1 registration statement with the SEC last month. Facebook bared it all for the world to see, but the important thing at the time was to remember that the road to the public can be long and winding.
The S-1 is just the first stop along the way, not to mention the first tollbooth, since Facebook ponied up a $573,000 registration fee. The registration statement typically sees several amendments along the way, and Facebook had one earlier this week to incorporate that pesky Yahoo!
The amendment includes standard legalese that states Yahoo! is "seeking unspecified damages." Facebook "[intends] to vigorously defend this lawsuit" and needlessly says that "any unfavorable outcome" would hurt its business.
The new S-1 also mentions Paul Ceglia, who has been hounding Mark Zuckerberg for years, claiming that he owns as much as 84% of the company. He's since scaled back his demands to "just" 50% of Zuckerberg's roughly 28% stake. At the $100 billion valuation the company might fetch, that would be $14 billion payday. No wonder he won't give up.
In court, Ceglia has produced emails as part of his evidence of contracts that he's entitled to his share, while Facebook maintains that the messages are forged -- it doesn't help that they were made in Microsoft Word.
On to the $100 billion question: When is Facebook's IPO?
The Wall Street Journal reports that prospective Facebook investors may only be looking at another couple of months of waiting. Its "people familiar with the matter" are pegging May as the timeframe for the offering and note that the company has halted the trading of its shares on private secondary markets heading into the IPO to do some shareholder record-keeping.
At this point, the ball is in the SEC's court, so all we can do is wait. Facebook is also expected to file at least another S-1 amendment before its public debut.
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In any event, hang tight, investors. Facebook is on its way.
Facebook is just one American company that looks set to dominate the world as the site continues to expand internationally, particularly in Brazil and India. If two months is too long of a wait, then take a look at these 3 American Companies Set to Dominate the World to hold you over in the meantime. It's totally free.