Market operator Nasdaq OMX has launched a free-of-charge real-time market data service that will be delivered by Google, the Wall Street Journal, CNBC and Xignite.
The exchange says the new service - called Nasdaq Last Sale and launched by its US stock market - places free real-time stock quotes "in the hands of millions of individual investors".
The service will provide real-time data for securities listed on Nasdaq, Nyse and Amex, - including price, volume and time - on the Google Finance site, Xignite's online services, The Wall Street Journal Digital Network and CNBC television. The quotes will also be delivered on the Nasdaq Web site.
Prior to the launch of Nasdaq Last Sale, the exchange did deliver intra-day data without charge over the Web, but only on a 15 minute delayed basis. Nasdaq says the new free real-time service will provide "universal, free access to real-time stock quotes".
"This is an important, and in many ways, overdue development in the US securities markets,'' says Adena Friedman, executive vice president, Nasdaq OMX. "With universal access to the Internet and the real-time nature of the web, investors need real time data, and now they don't have to pay for it."
"Historically, real-time financial information has been out of reach for most consumers without access to brokerage accounts or subscription fees," adds Marissa Mayer, vice president of search products and user experience, Google.
Financial terms of the deals between Nasdaq and the distributors have not been disclosed.
In November 2006 a coalition of some of the Internet's largest financial news sites - including Google and Yahoo! - petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to review the fees that stock exchanges - including Nasdaq and Nyse - charge for market data. Earlier in the year some Internet companies - such as AOL - had stopped publishing live quotes after exchanges began charging $1 per month per viewer for electronic marketplace data.
The launch of Nasdaq's service follows last week news that trading start-up Bats had inked a deal to to provide its real-time US stock quotes free of charge to users of the Yahoo! Finance site.