(KCBS) – Multiple media outlets are reporting that Facebook plans to file papers for its initial public offering on Wednesday,and CNET Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley said the time is right for the company.

“You can only have so many private or secondary market shareholders. They cap that at 500 by law, and Facebook is already at that cap of people that own shares, but not on the public market,” said Cooley. “Secondly, you get a certain prestige when you’re a public company. As you want to grow to the next level in terms of business, partnerships and revenue, the visibility that partners have into you give people a lot of confidence.”

CNET Editor-at-Large Brian Cooley:

Cooley said that employers also want to get paid, not in terms of salary, but making it big because of the IPO.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has always tried to keep the company private and he probably has some mixed feelings about going public.

Cooley said that the offering will also change how the company is run and bring new challenges for the social media giant.

“Facebook is going to have to show more of where it’s going, what it’s thinking of and how it operates,” said Cooley. “That doesn’t directly change the way they deal with privacy. But when you’re a public company, you basically are called to heel in many ways that you’re not when you’re private.”

Many experts believe the filing will be the largest IPO ever by an Internet company.

You can hear Brian Cooley’s Tech Watch report Tuesdays and Thursdays at 1:50 P.M. on KCBS All News 740AM and 106.9FM.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)


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