Goldman Sachs’ $450 million investment would have the giant social network to continue its growth without having having to publicly report financial information — unless the Securities and Exchanges Commission changes its rules.
That’s exactly what the SEC is considering, according to the Associated Press, which said the regulator begun reviewing its reporting rules for privately held companies.
Currently, private companies don’t have to publicly report their finances until they reach more than 500 investors. The deal between Facebook and Goldman Sachs theoretically circumvents this rule: The bank invested the money first, and is then letting its own clients invest anywhere from a mere $2 million dollars to $1.5 billion. In other words, Facebook would manage to get a lot of firepower to develop new services and make new acquisitions while staying under the 500-shareholder threshold.
If the SEC doesn’t change the 500-shareholder rule, then it’s likely the regulator might push Facebook to go public a little sooner than expected. This could have implications for all of Silicon Valley, especially companies that are contemplating whether to remain private or go public.
Do you think the SEC should change its rules in response to the Facebook deal, or should the social network register for an initial public offering sooner than previously planned?