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Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Google Joins Financial News Arena

by: Marie Glancy

Months after the IPO that made it a recurring feature in daily business news, Google Inc. is beginning its own foray onto the financial information highway.

The company has rolled out a financial news, stock quote and chat portal, it confirmed to Reuters. The new portal will let consumers use Google's specialty service, keyword searches, to locate data on public and private companies and mutual funds. Its launch means online brokerages, which generally use financial news and updates to draw customers, have another player to contend with.

The present Google Finance is a trial version, accessible from Google's home page by clicking on "About Google," or from links on result pages for finance-related Google searches. In this initial form, it offers less thorough information than most established specialty finance sites, including Yahoo! Finance, an obvious competitor. It does draw on information from high-profile sources, such as Reuters Group and Morningstar, and includes some unusual capabilities, like quick access to historical data and informal finance discussion forums.

The product manager for Google Finance told Reuters that its goal is to make a range of financial information easily digestible and convenient to access. 

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