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Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) May Face Class Actions For Sins During IPO

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)

Facebook Inc has been accused of hiding concerns of its growth forecasts prior to its IPO in May 2012, and based on this two shareholder class actions have been certified by a federal judge, says a report from Reuters. The decision was taken on December 11 itself, but was kept under seal until Tuesday.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB)

Facebook facing class actions

There are several retail and institutional investors, who claim to have lost money from the purchase of Facebook shares at an inflated prices in connection with the $16bn IPO. And, the U.S. District Judge Robert Sweet in Manhattan said that such investors may pursue their respective claims as groups, the report said.

Facebook Inc has been accused of concealing internal projections, prior to its IPO, of how growth in mobile devices might hurt its prospects as it generated little ad revenue from this area back then. Though it did quietly warned underwriters to cut their forecasts.

Facebook is appealing the class certifications are without merit and are in conflict with well-settled precedent. CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and other officials are the other Facebook defendants.

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In his 55-pages decision, Sweet said Facebook “marshalled an impressive amount of evidence” to suggest that shareholders knew how mobile usage would affect revenue. But, he rejected the firm’s request of shareholders pursuing the claims separately.

Facebook made its market debut on May 18, 2012 at $38 per share. On September 4, 2012 the share price fell to $17.55, and for more than a year, it remained below the IPO level.

Free Basics in trouble in India

Separately, Facebook Inc is dealing with another problem, and its in India, where Facebook’s Free Basics has stirred up a debate on net neutrality. Free Basics makes it possible for the users in the country to access basic Internet services such as news, local jobs, local govt information, travel, and maternal health without any data charges on their cell phones.

Last week, Facebook’s Free Basics was suspended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) due to concerns over net neutrality. Critics of Free Basics argue that it breaches net neutrality, and encourages differential pricing. On the other hand, the US firm argues that it has no hidden intentions.

At 9.50 am EST, Facebook shares were down 0.81% at $106.36. Year to date, the stock is up almost 37% while in the last one-month, it is up over 2%. The stock has a 52-week high of $110.65 and a 52-week low of $72.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both marketing and Finance side. He has work as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, playing PC games and cricket.

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