Facebook Files for $5 Bln IPO

Social networking company cites $3.7 bln in 2011 sales.

Facebook Inc., the social-networking website that in eight years changed the way the world communicates, filed to raise $5 billion in the largest Internet initial public offering on record.

Facebook, whose meteoric rise spawned an Oscar-winning film and captivated Wall Street, yesterday named Morgan Stanley as the lead underwriter on the IPO, while reporting a 24-fold increase in sales over the past four years to $3.71 billion in 2011.

Risk Factors

In outlining its potential risks in the filing, Facebook cited hacker attacks, regulatory scrutiny, a shift to mobile technology and rivals such as Google+. The company also said it would face competition in China if it manages to gain access to that market, where its site is currently blocked.

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