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Major Exchanges Approve Stock Quotes Delivery Via IMs

New York-based software start-up ActiveBuddy has been given the go-ahead by the three major trading exchanges to deliver real-time stock quotes via interactive "bots" on instant messaging platforms.

The New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), The NASDAQ Stock Market and the American Stock Exchange (AMEX) have all granted permission for the distribution of trading information, clearing the way for ActiveBuddy's rollout of a Reuters-branded finance "buddy."

It is the first time the major exchanges have approved the delivery of stock-related information via the popular instant messaging platforms and ActiveBuddy plans to officially launch the "bot" sometime in June.

Initially, ActiveBuddy will provide access to delayed quotes only -- 15 minute delayed stock quotes from Nasdaq and 20 minute delayed stock quotes from NYSE and Amex.

Future applications will include the controlled distribution of real-time quotes, the company said.

ActiveBuddy has already unleashed a beta "bot" dishing delayed stock quotes from Reuters. The "bot" has been quietly living within the three main IM providers -- AOL, MSN Messenger and Yahoo! Messenger - and is only in test mode.

atNewYork has learned ActiveBuddy is on the verge on landing a deal with one of the big three IM services to clear the way for the commercial launch of the buddies. An announcement is expected within days.

The company is also testing an interactive agent supplying movie information and plans to rollout an agent that dishes baseball scores and news.

ActiveBuddy, which is backed by Reuters and Wit SoundView Ventures, hailed the approval from the stock exchanges as a "significant" deal.

"Instant messaging is the fastest growing segment of the Internet with over 100 million users worldwide. Now, thanks (to the agreements) with each of the three stock exchanges, instant messaging users will be able to quickly and easily access stock quotes directly from their IM window on PC's and wireless devices," the company said.

ActiveBuddy's agents are described as computer robots that are programmed to understand and respond to natural language requests. The "bots" (agents) can be added to IM users' buddy contact lists.



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