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Facebook valued at $50 billion by massive Goldman Sachs investment, IPO expected soon

The FacebookWith an investment of $450 million by investment bank Goldman Sachs, Facebook has just increased its valuation to $50 billion, placing it above Yahoo and eBay, but still some way off giants Google, Oracle, Apple and Microsoft.

Back in November, Mark Zuckerberg dispelled claims that an IPO was in Facebook's immediate future, but these continuing, massive private investments would suggest that an IPO should occur this year, or perhaps in 2012. It all comes down to whether the Securities and Exchange Commission let Facebook -- and other private Internet companies like Twitter and Zynga -- dilute their shares using "special purpose vehicles."

Goldman Sachs, which underwrote the IPOs of Yahoo and Microsoft, and coordinated many others, is a bit of a technology IPO veteran. With this investment it has likely secured its position to take Facebook public -- and when that happens, it's anyone's guess as to how much Facebook will be valued at.

Tags: facebook, finance, goldman sachs, GoldmanSachs, investment, IPO, social networking, SocialNetworking, valuation, web