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March 21, 2000|Bloomberg News

Insiders at Westlake Village-based NetZero Inc. (NZRO), a provider of free Internet access with advertising, will be free to sell their shares to the public following the expiration of initial public offering "lock-ups" this week. Other companies whose IPO lock-ups have expired or will expire this week include Ashford.com Inc. (ASFD), an Internet retailer of luxury goods, and software makers E.piphany Inc. (EPNY) and Egain Communications Corp. (EGAN), according to the Web site IPO Lockup.com.

Lock-ups are imposed by the investment banks that take companies public to keep insiders from selling their shares at the time of the IPO. In theory, lock-ups help maintain an orderly market for a company's shares and bolster investor confidence by showing that senior executives and venture capital backers are committed for the long term. A company's shares may decline when the lock-up expires--typically six months after the IPO--because many more shares become available for sale.

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