DoubleClick confirms FTC probe

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DoubleClick, New York, which has been the target of a complaint by privacy groups to the Federal Trade Commission, disclosed in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing earlier this week that the FTC has begun an investigation into its ad serving and data collection practices. In the filing, DoubleClick said it was impossible to determine the outcome of the investigation. Privacy groups have challenged DoubleClick's right to take information from its Abacus Direct database and combine it with new information gathered online. Also in the SEC filing, DoubleClick confirmed it's a defendant in six recently filed class action suits alleging the ad network is unlawfully obtaining and selling Internet users' personal information. DoubleClick said the lawsuits are "without merit" and it intends to "vigorously defend" itself. DoubleClick on Wednesday afternoon issued a news release confirming the FTC investigation and announcing that the New York state attorney general also was investigating the company. DoubleClick asked that trading in its stock be halted before it issued the release. The stock didn't reopen for trading during the regular session, but in after-hours trading, it fell to $93 a share, down from $106.50, according to Reuters.

Copyright February 2000, Crain Communications Inc.

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