Facebook Inc. investors, already grappling with concerns aboutthe company's growth prospects, are bracing for the biggestincrease in the number of shares free for trading since the companywent public in May.

Restrictions lift today on 804 million shares held by formeremployees and those who sold at the initial public offering, almostdoubling the total available for trading, according to a regulatoryfiling. The bans on sales are put in place to prevent shares fromflooding the market immediately after an initial public offering.Restrictions lifted on smaller numbers of shares in August andOctober.

Facebook, operator of the world's most popular social-networkingservice, has lost about half its value since going public as thenumber of shares rose and investors fretted about the company'sability to boost mobile-advertising sales.

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