Last month, Facebook's early investors and some directors became eligible to sell stock they own in the social networking company. Others will have similar rights in the coming months. Facebook said this week that it is making employees eligible to sell stock Oct. 29. It also said CEO Mark Zuckerberg won't sell stock in the company for at least the next 12 months; he had been eligible to do so Nov. 14.
Up to 1.5 billion more shares could flood the stock market — about 3.5 times the 421 million shares that had been trading since Facebook's initial public offering in May. The 1.5 billion figure includes the 271 million shares eligible last month.
Facebook's stock has fallen since the Aug. 16 expiration of the first lock-up period.
Here's the schedule, as reported by Facebook Inc. in regulatory filings:
— Aug. 16: 271 million shares held by early investors and directors who had participated in the IPO, though CEO Mark Zuckerberg is excluded for unspecified reasons.
— Oct. 29: 234 million shares and stock options held by employees as of Oct. 15, excluding Zuckerberg.
— Nov. 14: 777 million shares and stock options. Zuckerberg had been eligible to sell his shares at this date, but Facebook has changed that given that the CEO had no plans to do so.
— Dec. 14: 156 million shares held by early investors and others who participated in IPO, except Zuckerberg.
— May 18, 2013: 47 million shares held by the Russian Internet company Mail.ru Group and DST Global, both of which made early investments in Facebook.