UK – The London Stock Exchange (LSE) has made a significant entry into the area of financial market software and data services provision with the acquisition of Proquote, an internet-based platform that allows access to real time price date and market information as well as on-line trading facilities.

The buy-out, which will cost LSE an initial £10.9m with a further £1.7m to pay to Daron Lee, Proquote’s founder and managing director, potentially pits the LSE against data provision stalwarts such as Reuters, Bloomberg and Thomson Financial.

However, a spokesperson for the London Stock Exchange, explained that while the buy-out of Proquote put the Exchange into the "same sort of space" as Reuters, Bloomberg and Thomson Financial, in practical terms its focus was much more limited.

"These three are all focused at the top end of the market with big international customers such as the biggest investment banks in the world who will order thousands of screens.
"Our focus is more on the market where people are looking to cut their costs, such as boutique fund managers, retail brokers and private investors. It is a B2B service though principally for businesses looking to keep their data costs to a minimum."

LSE claims that the buy-out could bring significant strategic benefits to the group, including the potential to recruit new member firms, particularly outside the UK, by offering a low-cost terminal that gives direct access to the Exchange’s markets.