If you spend any time at financial news sites or portals you may have noticed recent notes that say real-time quotes are no longer available or are available only for a fee. That’s because the various online outlets decided the price literally was too high to pay as the exchanges ratchet imposed or ratcheted up rates; in some cases, the fee hikes are retroactive. NetCoalition, which bills itself as “the public policy voice” for various internet companies including Google, Yahoo and CNET, is petitioning the SEC to stay a staff decision that the group contends allows NYSE/Archipelago to raise rates for real-time quotes. The rationale behind the decision isn’t rational, according to NetCoalition, because it uses NASDAQ’s pricing as a benchmark. From the NetCoalition release: “Determining that the NYSEArca fees are reasonable based on a comparison with the fees of another monopoly is problematic. …”
WSJ: NetCoalition’s executive director Markham Erickson said they want the SEC to decide if there should be more rigorous review of the data and its actual cost. He wants the SEC to assess the value of having the info available to hundreds of millions of online users. The simple act of officially questioning the move officially rolls back increases in the interim. Mary Moe, GM of AOL Money & Finance, told the Journal the real-time data was pulled from her site Sept. 1 when the exchanges imposed a charge of $1 per viewer of their data. When the quotes were free to AOL, they were free on AOL. Now there’s a fee.