Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) becomes the latest tech firm to block the media from attending its annual shareholder meeting. Instead, the social networker suggested that media should watch the live webcast of the meeting on Tuesday morning.
The decision from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) to bar the media comes as a surprise as the company allowed the media to attend its earlier annual meeting in February.
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Apple Not Alone
Earlier this year Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Zynga Inc (NASDAQ:ZNGA) also barred media coverage. Google webcasted the meeting while Zynga, which hosted the meeting a day after it laid off 520 employees, did not even webcast the event.
Bay Area Protesters Against Facebook
Bay Area protesters of the Keystone XL pipeline, whose intentions certainly do not look friendly, are expected to show up at the meeting uninvited. Facebook’s shareholder meeting will be held in a hotel at Millbrae, Washington.
The protestors are against the political lobbying group Fwd.us, started by Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg. The lobbying group ran ads supporting lawmakers that are in favor of the pipeline.
The CEO started the lobbying group to support comprehensive immigration reform. Fwd.us has caused controversy by running television ads supporting other causes and ‘home state’ senators. One of the senators praised by Fwd.us favors the Keystone XL pipeline, which has received heavy criticism from environmentalists and liberal groups.
Despite the criticism, Zuckerberg looks resolute about his political ambitions. The CEO will host a political fundraiser for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, a Democrat. Zuckerberg, who still has not declared his party affiliation, hosted a similar fundraiser in February for New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, a Republican.
Possible Discussion at the Meeting
Whether or not shareholders will show any concern about the tactics used by Fwd.us is still not known. However, one thing that will definitely be discussed in the meeting are the speculations that Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) might get an entry to the coveted Standard & Poor’s 500 index.
The same talks have pushed the company’s stock up by around 5 percent on Monday. Shares of the social networker have been showing some improvement after the shaky start of the public company in May 2012. Shares have also been up owing to positive reports from analysts.
According to analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. (NYSE:JPM), Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) may soon be getting ads from popular brands like McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) and The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG). The analyst also believes that mobile will contribute around 38 percent to advertising revenue by 2013 and more than 50 percent in 2014.