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Google, Yahoo Pushback Against NYSE

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The financial advertising market has been a lucrative one for major Internet players, but they feel price increases for access to the data from the New York Stock Exchange merits a legal challenge.

Under the banner of NetCoalition.com, big names like those of the top search engines, as well as CNET and IAC/I, have asked the Securities and Exchange Commission to investigate the New York Stock Exchange/Archipelago (NYSE/Arca) over the pricing of its real time stock data.

NetCoalition said in a statement it wanted the SEC to stop NYSE/Arca from making dramatic changes to their pricing structure for market data. In recent months, Google and Yahoo removed ECN after-hours stock prices from their respective financial sites due to costs.

“If the Securities and Exchange Commission does not stay product approvals until the Commission can take a comprehensive look at the exchange’s efforts to eliminate access to real-time information,” said Markham Erickson, NetCoalition’s Executive Director and General Counsel, “The SEC will be sending a signal that while the rest of the economy is already on the information superhighway, the financial services sector will moil along a dirt road.”

In October, the SEC approved a rule change sought by NYSE/Arca regarding its data. NetCoalition had requested in August that the SEC reexamine the NYSE/Arca request, “because the exchanges are increasingly seeking to…maximize the exchanges’ profits at the expense of average consumers and investors.”

NetCoalition representatives said in their separate letter to SEC Chairman Christoper Cox that “the exchanges have failed to provide meaningful evidence” for the proposed price changes they want. “It is unclear how the exchanges’ proposed new fee arrangements protect investors when the result has been the elimination of real-time market data from the Internet,” they said.

Such data lend heavily to the appeal of a website’s financial content. In turn, that appeal can be marketed to advertisers in the industry. Their lucrative ad buys can make or break the bottom line for sites, which was evidenced by Yahoo partially attributing poor third quarter numbers to weakness in the financial advertising market.


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David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

Google, Yahoo Pushback Against NYSE
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