Stock Watch: U.S. Government Boosts Net Advertisers

Shares of Internet advertisers gained Friday after U.S. government regulators endorsed an industry-developed plan aimed at protecting consumers’ privacy, rather than subjecting the companies to a set of federal rules.

DoubleClick (Nasdaq: DCLK) rose 2 13/16 to 36 7/8, 24/7 Media (Nasdaq: TFSM) advanced 13/16 to 11 15/16, and Engage Technologies (Nasdaq: ENGA) closed up 1 5/32 at 10 7/16.

The companies are members of a group that worked with government agencies to develop a set of principles for online marketing. Privacy advocates said the plan — which includes an agreement to display prominent notices on Web sites about how data collected from visitors is being used, and to give visitors the right to opt out of being profiled — does not go far enough. Investors, though, were cheered that the companies avoided government regulation.

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Norman Y. Mineta called the plan “an effective and meaningful self-regulatory approach to privacy protection.”

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