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GeoCities Files Public Offering

June 13, 1998|From Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — GeoCities, which runs advertising-supported Internet "communities," filed plans Friday to go public, a day after agreeing to settle federal charges about the way it collects and uses personal information on children.

The widely anticipated initial public offering comes amid booming demand for Internet stocks. The sale could raise as much as $72.5 million, the company said in its filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, without specifying the number of shares to be sold or the price.

Santa Monica-based GeoCities said an agreement with the Federal Trade Commission staff will settle charges that the company gathered and used personal data on children under the age of 13 without telling the kids or their parents.

Although the settlement marks the first FTC case about children's privacy on the Internet, analysts agreed it isn't likely to cast a cloud over GeoCities or the IPO.

The company runs "communities," or groups of personal Web sites where users with similar interests can visit related sites.

More than 90 companies promote products on the company's sites. GeoCities also has partnerships with Internet retailers such as bookseller Amazon.com Inc. and CDnow Inc., the music vendor.

Goldman, Sachs & Co.; Donaldson, Lufkin & Jenrette Securities Corp.; and Hambrecht & Quist will underwrite the IPO.

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