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IPOs, Internet and Media Matters

IPO Market Looks To Broaden Its Base

Historically, the IPO market has been tied to the same economic factors that affect the secondary markets. Recently, however, while the broader markets have been walking through inflationary landmines, the IPO market seems to have moved away from that dependency. Demand for high-tech companies in a variety of industries led to a busy October, with 59 companies raising $7.03 billion in the month. At the current pace, it is anticipated that the IPO market will end the century in record territory. (The IPO Reporter, 11/1/99, p. 1)

Wireless Groups Move To Ease Travel Calling

The two largest wireless telephone consortiums have agreed on an international pact that eventually could allow about 290 million cellular-phone subscribers to use their phones almost anywhere they travel. The new pact signed by GSM Association and the Universal Wireless Communications Consortium, which represent two of the three incompatible digital-wireless standards used in the U.S., will permit customers whose phones are based on the two standards to make and receive calls from country to country. But first, customers will need a new multi network phone to take advantage of the agreement, and phone networks will need to reach roaming agreements to permit billing of these calls. (The Wall Street Journal, 11/2/99, p. B8)

SEC Studies 'Momentum' Stock-Pick Sites On The Internet

The enforcement division of the SEC says it is investigating a number of Web sites that offer daily or periodic stock recommendations designed to generate "momentum" in certain stocks from quick-fingered day traders and other investors. The SEC is concerned that the "often-artificial gyrations" in stocks could in some cases be considered stock manipulation, particularly if the operators of such Web sites profit from the ups and downs of recommended stocks. The SEC probe is part of a broader examination into Wall Street's "rapid fire" trading crowd, including a separate investigation into day trading firms. The SEC has in the past brought action against 44 companies and individuals for illegally touting stocks online, alleging that many misrepresented companies' prospects or didn't disclose payments for the touts. (The Wall Street Journal, 11/2/99, p. C1)

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