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German privacy official warns Facebook investors

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BERLIN (AP) - A German data protection official has warned Facebook investors that the social networking site's $38 starting share price is based on practices that breach European privacy rules.

Thilo Weichert, the data protection commissioner for the northern German state of Schleswig-Holstein says shareholders should be aware that if European privacy authorities have their way, "Facebook's business model will implode."

Weichert was quoted by German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung on Friday saying Facebook could be ordered to stop transferring user information to the United States.

Facebook's IPO prospectus warns investors that its business is subject to "complex and evolving U.S. and foreign laws and regulations regarding privacy, data protection, and other matters" that could harm its business.

Weichert confirmed the accuracy of the quotes in an email.

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