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Could Facebook IPO help it dominate Google?

Sharon Gaudin | Feb. 3, 2012
With the Facebook initial public offering (IPO) now official, industry and financial analysts say that a huge influx of cash could enable the social networking company to topple Google from its dominant position in the online world.

Unseating Google would be no easy feat, though.

First off, according to Olds, the companies are not substitutes for each other. Google is the basis for most searches. Facebook is the basis for most social connections.

And while a profitable IPO would make Facebook stronger, Google is still substantially larger.

"It gives Facebook a ... war chest," said Olds. "Google, though, has $45 billion in cash and short-term investments. That's a really big war chest. Even with this influx of cash, Facebook still can't play in Google's league in terms of cash."

Mark Siegel, a managing director with Menlo Ventures LLC, said Google came along to surpass Microsoft as the biggest tech company. And now Facebook is poised to take the lead from Google.

"Facebook is potentially the platform company for the next 10 years," said Siegel. "I absolutely think this is a scary event for Google. Will it make [Facebook] dominant over Google? Well, Facebook already does dominate Google in terms of social networking. This will enable Facebook to compete with Google in a lot of areas."

Could Facebook push past Google?

"Well, this certainly enables Facebook to move in that direction," said Siegel.


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