In IPO Filing, Facebook Names Google As Its No. 1 Foe

A blog about business and economics.
Feb. 1 2012 5:06 PM

In IPO Filing, Facebook Names Google as Its No. 1 Foe

138046926
A sign with the "like" symbol stands in front of the Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif.

Photograph by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images.

Mere minutes ago Facebook's S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission became available, a first step toward the planned $5 billion initial public offering of stock. This is a document filled with information that private companies don't need to disclose but public companies do. The numbers will all be crunched and pored over soon enough, but there are also qualitative elements like where a firm needs to state what it sees as some of the biggest risks to its market position and financial viability. In the case of Facebook, they make it clear that Google is the main threat they see:

Some of our current and potential competitors have significantly greater resources and better competitive positions in certain markets than we do. These factors may allow our competitors to respond more effectively than us to new or emerging technologies and changes in market requirements. Our competitors may develop products, features, or services that are similar to ours or that achieve greater market acceptance, may undertake more far-reaching and successful product development efforts or marketing campaigns, or may adopt more aggressive pricing policies. In addition, Platform partners may use information shared by our users through the Facebook Platform in order to develop products or features that compete with us. Certain competitors, including Google, could use strong or dominant positions in one or more markets to gain competitive advantage against us in areas where we operate including: by integrating competing social networking platforms or features into products they control such as search engines, web browsers, or mobile device operating systems; by making acquisitions; or by making access to Facebook more difficult. As a result, our competitors may acquire and engage users at the expense of the growth or engagement of our user base, which may negatively affect our business and financial results.
Advertisement

Of course apart from Google, Microsoft is the other company that controls "search engines, web browsers, or mobile device operating systems." At the moment, however, Microsoft could hardly be said to have a dominant position in those fields. The runaway success of Google web search and Android OS's huge market share, however, means that Google does have great opportunities to push Google+ into all of our lives.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.

TODAY IN SLATE

Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.

Politics

Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Weigel
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Sept. 21 2014 1:15 PM The Slate Doctor Who Podcast: Episode 5  A spoiler-filled discussion of "Time Heist."
  Arts
Brow Beat
Sept. 21 2014 2:00 PM Colin Farrell Will Star in True Detective’s Second Season
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 21 2014 8:00 AM An Astronaut’s Guided Video Tour of Earth
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.