The Internet juggernaut Facebook could file papers for an initial public offering as early as Wednesday, hoping to raise as much as US$10 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported Friday.

Facebook appears close to finalizing a deal with the financial services company Morgan Stanley to serve as the lead underwriter of its stock offering, the Journal reported, citing unnamed sources familiar with the plan.

Other high-profile social networking sites, including Groupon, have filed to go public this year, but Facebook, with more than 800 million users, is seen as a bellwether and a measure of how successful a tech IPO can be in the current investor environment.

The deal would value Facebook at $75 billion to $100 billion, the Journal reported. The company hopes to raise $10 billion through the offering, more than any other technology IPO. A Facebook spokesman said the company would not comment on "IPO-related speculation."