The Nasdaq Stock Market on Monday launched technology it said will make it easier and cheaper for market makers to trade Nasdaq stocks.

The move is part of Nasdaq's effort to facilitate access for market makers such as Knight Trading ( NITE) and Dempsey, which is controlled by E*Trade ( ET), to its trading platform, since electronic trading networks like Instinet ( INET) have become popular with investors.

The technology, called Nasdaq Workstation WebLink, "will allow firms, especially small order-entry firms, to route orders to market-making firms through the convenience of a Web browser and the Nasdaq ACES order-routing system," Nasdaq said in a statement.

According to Kevin Carrai, associate vice president of Nasdaq Transaction Services, "Nasdaq Workstation WebLink will allow market-making firms of all sizes to compete for order flow and revenue more efficiently and cost-effectively than ever before by allowing them to sponsor and pay for order-entry firm access to route orders to them via Nasdaq ACES."

Carrai also said the service will benefit order-entry firms because their orders can be sent directly into their market-maker's trading system, eliminating the need to call or send e-mail to have orders entered into the system.

The new Nasdaq Workstation WebLink includes two principle features: WebLink ACES and WebLink ACT. WebLink ACES, which costs $199 a month for each user, will allow firms to route orders to market-making firms, through a Web browser.

WebLink ACT will have the same functionality and pricing as the current Nasdaq ACT, which costs $150 a month per user for trade reports and trade scans as long as the customer makes at least 20 trades a day. The monthly price for WebLink Act jumps to $300 per user for a trade report, a trade scan and a risk management scan.

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