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Yahoo! Finance Adds Real-Time Quotes

The company is relying on ECNs rather than exchanges for the numbers.

Want real-time quotes? If you want a lot, and you're not picky about them being accurate to the last sixteenth, Yahoo! (YHOO) is giving them away for free.

Yahoo! said Wednesday it had added real-time quotes, though not the usual kind, to its popular Yahoo! Finance personal finance area.

Rather than getting quotes directly from the traditional exchanges, Yahoo! is collecting them from three major electronic communication networks, or ECNs:

Island

, a subsidiary of privately held

Datek

;

Instinet

, a subsidiary of

Reuters

(RTRSY)

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and

Archipelago

, owned in part by

Goldman Sachs

(GS) - Get Report

and

E*Trade

(EGRP)

.

Tim Sheehan, director of production for Yahoo! Finance, says the quotes for the most part will match up to real-time quotes from NYSE or Nasdaq, varying by a quarter of a point at most.

On the bright side, he says, Yahoo!'s arrangement will enable users to get unlimited, simultaneous real-time quotes for all the stocks in their portfolios, says Sheehan, rather than request a limited number of quotes or have to view them one at a time.

Following comments late Wednesday by Yahoo! CEO Tim Koogle about weakness in the Internet advertising market, Yahoo! slid $3.19 to $108.88.