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Computerized Investing > March/April 2007

Editor's Outlook

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by Wayne A. Thorp, CFA

The days of free Web-based real-time market data may be numbered for individual investors if proposals from two major U.S. stock exchanges are allowed to go into effect. A battle is brewing between such Internet heavyweights as Yahoo Inc. and Google and the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and the NASDAQ Stock Market, which derive millions of dollars each year from fees they charge for data.

Most of us probably think of a stock exchange as a place where the shares of listed companies are bought and sold. However, stock exchanges are much more than that: Today, exchanges such as the NYSE and NASDAQ derive a substantial amount of revenues from selling trading and related data to securities firms, third-party data providers and operators of Web sites.

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