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LinkedIn IPO, Dead Ahead

Sure to upset the social networking ecosystem, LinkedIn is reportedly planning to go public before the end of the year.

Sources tell Reuters -- which broke the news -- that the name of the game is beating Facebook to the punch.

"Some of these companies want to go public because they want to beat Facebook and others out," one source tells Reuters. "If Facebook went public before Linkedin, do you think anyone would pay that much attention to Linkedin?"

Indeed, "If Facebook goes public, it could be such a massive event on Wall Street that it would be capable of undermining another, subsequent social-networking IPO with the sheer force of its hype," CNet explains.

Yet, a knowledgeable source tells The Wall Street Journal that Facebook hardly factors into the equation for LinkedIn. "Anybody who is suggesting timing is a function of Facebook misses the point completely," said the source, claiming that LinkedIn made the decision "well before the Facebook [Goldman Sachs funding] news."

Regarding LinkedIn, The New York Times writes: "The company is the latest in a slew of Internet companies seeking to reach the public markets to accelerate growth."

But, why now? Possibly to take advantage of today's soaring tech valuations, suggests DailyFinance. Also," The social network sector has become more competitive," it writes. "Facebook has the ability to mirror some of LinkedIn's features. LinkedIn does not have a corner on the market of connected business associates with one another. It may simply want new capital to take the technical and marketing steps its needs to take to remain a leader in its business."

"LinkedIn may not have all the mass consumer glamour of Facebook or Twitter," notes ReadWriteWeb. "But many of its 85 million members pay for premium accounts with extra business networking features and the company pitches advertisers with user demographics skewing heavily toward the upper-middle class and above."

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