Summary Box: Facebook to go public, raise $5B

GOING PUBLIC: Facebook files paperwork for its much-anticipated initial public offering of stock. It hopes to raise $5 billion, the most ever for an Internet IPO.

WHAT THAT MEANS: Facebook will have financial clout as it tries to make its service even more pervasive and expand its audience. It also could help Facebook fend off an intensifying challenge from Google, which is looking to solidify its status as the Internet’s most powerful company with a rival social network called Plus.

TRADING: Facebook hopes to list its stock under the ticker symbol, “FB,” on the New York Stock Exchange or Nasdaq Stock Market. The IPO will likely come in three or four months.