The Data Facebook Didn't Want to Share

Pedestrians pass the share price for Facebook on display at the Nasdaq MarketSite in New York Photograph by Scott Eells/Bloomberg

Back in February, when I was reporting a story on the initial public offering process that Facebook had just started, I was intrigued to read the back-and-forth correspondence between the SEC and other companies that had recently gone public. (I know, I know; exciting SEC filings? Bear with me for a minute.) The letters are a standard part of the march to going public and they shed light on the debate over what a company must disclose to investors. Once they’re released, typically a month after the IPO, investors can glean nuggets of important—often unflattering—data that companies hadn’t wanted want to reveal.

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