Today: Facebook officially tops IPO price, Dell ups ante for his company, feds want tighter rein on Apple (AAPL) e-book prices

The Lead: Facebook finally bests its $38 IPO price -- by a nickel; Dell developments; Apple headed for showdown

Facebook's stock price finally crossed the symbolic $38 level Friday, closing at a 52-week high of $38.05.

That meant shares in the Menlo Park-based social networking giant have finally returned to the level at which they were first sold in the company's much-ballyhooed initial public offering last year. After the IPO fizzled, the stock fell as low as $17.55 in the months that followed.

But the stock eventually rebounded; shares have risen more than 45 percent in the past two weeks, as Facebook reported that its advertising business -- and particularly its mobile ad sales -- had grown rapidly in recent months. Shares briefly rose above $38 on Wednesday but sank below that level before trading closed.

Some investors paid as much as $45 for Facebook shares in the first hours of trading on May 18, 2012, amid technical glitches at the Nasdaq exchange, but the stock sank to $38.23 later that day.

-- Michael Dell has upped the ante on his bid to buy Dell to as much as $24.9 billion with a special dividend, securing concessions from the board committee that boost his odds of winning shareholder support for the deal.

Dell and Silver Lake Management are offering a dividend of 13 cents a share on top of an already-increased $13.75-a-share bid for the computer maker, according to a statement issued Friday from the board committee. In exchange, the investors holding the stock as of Aug. 13 will be eligible to vote on the deal, and abstentions will no longer be counted as no ballots. The shareholder vote will be held Sept. 12.

The new offer adds as much as $470 million to the original bid, including the special dividend and the third-quarter payout, the board committee said. The total includes the $120 million value of the quarterly dividend.

Activist investor Carl Icahn and fellow Dell investor Southeastern Asset Management have made a series of alternative proposals to derail a takeover by CEO and founder Michael Dell, including a $14-a-share buyback. Icahn filed suit on Thursday to block Dell from changing procedures for voting on the deal, accusing the founder of trying to "ram through" the buyout.

-- Apple is headed for a showdown with the U.S. government and dozens of states, which on Friday urged that tough new restrictions be imposed on the Cupertino tech giant for illegally conspiring to raise e-book prices.

The changes proposed by the Justice Department and 33 states and territories are designed to stop Apple from committing further antitrust violations after U.S. District Judge Denise Cote on July 10 said Apple had a "central role" in a conspiracy with five major publishers to raise e-book prices.

Apple is fighting back. In a court filing, it called the proposed injunction a "draconian and punitive intrusion" into its business that would hurt consumers and competition, and that it was "wildly out of proportion."

"The resulting cost of this relief -- not only in dollars but also lost opportunities for American businesses and consumers -- would be vast," it said.

Cote will weigh both the arguments at an Aug. 9 hearing in her Manhattan courtroom. A damages trial might follow.

The government's plan, which still needs court approval, would require that Apple end its contracts with five publishers and be banned for five years from entering contracts that would effectively raise the prices of e-books sold by rivals.

The publishers included Lagardere SCA's Hachette Book Group, News Corp's HarperCollins Publishers, Pearson Plc's Penguin Group, CBS's Simon & Schuster and Verlagsgruppe Georg von Holtzbrinck GmbH's Macmillan. All settled with U.S. regulators.

Apple would also be blocked from cutting deals with providers of movies, music and TV programs for its iPad tablets and iPhones that would likely increase the prices at which rivals might sell such content. It would also require providers to lower prices for Apple if they lower them for rivals.

Officials also want to make it easier for consumers to compare e-book prices by requiring Apple for two years to let Amazon, Barnes & Noble and other rivals provide links to their own stores within their iPad and iPhone apps.

Government officials said the changes would permit Apple to compete "vigorously and lawfully" in the e-books market.

They said the conspiracy caused some e-book prices to rise to $12.99 or $14.99 from the $9.99 that Amazon charged.

Meanwhile, Apple again surpassed Exxon Mobile for the No. 1 market cap among U.S. companies. Apple ended the day up 1.28 percent, closing at $462.54. Shares are up more than 10 percent over the past month.

SV150 market watch

Up: Apple, Google (GOOG), Intel (INTC), Cisco (CSCO), HP, eBay (EBAY), VMware, Facebook, LinkedIn, Yelp

Down: Oracle (ORCL), Gilead, Yahoo (YHOO), Juniper, Netflix (NFLX), Zynga

The SV150 index of Silicon Valley's largest tech companies: Up 7.38, or 0.57 percent, to 1,310.08

The tech-heavy Nasdaq composite index: Up 13.85, or 0.38 percent, to 3,689.59

The blue chip Dow Jones industrial average: Up 30.34, or 0.19 percent, to 15,658.36

And the widely watched Standard & Poor's 500 index: Up 2.80, or 0.16 percent, to 1,709.67

Check in weekday afternoons for the 60-Second Business Break, a summary of news from Mercury News staff writers, The Associated Press, Bloomberg News and other wire services. Contact Dan Nakaso at 408-271-3648; follow him at Twitter.com/dannakaso.