Internet giant Google began offering real-time share prices from the London Stock Exchange today in a move it hopes will breed a new generation of small investors.
Google Finance has signed a deal with the LSE Group to provide free up-to-date last-trade prices, for which traders have had to pay a premium until now. They were previously only available with a 15 minute delay.
LSE Group, which also owns Borsa Italiana, said the aim of the deal was to attract more retail investors - small investors who buy and sell equities for their personal account, and not for another company.
Jarod Hillman, head of real-time data at LSE Group, said: "For the first time Google users will have access to free, real-time last-trade prices, allowing them to make more informed investment decisions."
Google Finance was launched in 2006 and features business headlines for a range of companies, stock information and charts. Like other Google sites, Finance supports advertising.
The improvement will strengthen another pillar to Google's empire, which covers the original search engine service, email, news, shopping and maps among other services.
Maxim Edelman, head of strategic partnerships at Google, said: "The addition of real-time quotes from the London Stock Exchange and Borsa Italiana will enable our users to better monitor market changes, manage their portfolios and track economic and financial developments in Europe."
LSE Group, which employs 1,850 staff, is headquartered in London and has operations in Italy and Sri Lanka.