Big acquisitions, distractions may delay Facebook IPO

Initial public offering may be pushed back till June, reports say

Less than a week ago, the Internet was abuzz with reports that Facebook's IPO would come in mid-May. Today, news reports are adding several more weeks to that timeline.

A few high-priced acquisitions could be distracting the social network and its co-founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg enough to delay the company's initial public offering, according to a report from CNBC.

Citing unnamed sources, CNBC reported that Zuckerberg and other top Facebook executives have been unable to focus enough on the upcoming IPO to be ready to launch on May 14 as previously expected.

Now the company reportedly is looking at an IPO launch in mid-June.

A Facebook spokesperson declined to comment on the IPO, noting that the company is in a quiet period.

For a company quickly approaching an IPO, Facebook has been very active in recent weeks, forking over a lot of money for a company acquisition and a mountain of patents.

Earlier this month, Facebook announced that it had acquired Instagram, the maker of a popular mobile photo-sharing app. The deal is costing the social network $1 billion in cash and stock.

Earlier this week, Facebook and Microsoft jointly announced that Facebook is buying about 650 former AOL patents and patent applications from Microsoft for about $550 million.

In a previous interview, Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with ZK Research, said the patent purchase was a move to better position the company for its upcoming IPO. "For Facebook, it looks like they're buying potential," he said.

Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, on Google+ or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed. Her email address is

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Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

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