Those conflicted gouging monopolists at the Australian Stock Exchange yesterday unveiled a new look website which it claims is faster, more accurate and more intuitive.

The site is one of most used in Australia with more than 600,000 unique users and 16 million page impressions a month. By comparison, Crikey averaged about 53,000 unique users and 1.4 million page views in each month during the first quarter of 2005.

However, the ASX set a new record in March with over 750,000 unique users and 23 million page impressions. This spike in traffic was not due to any sharemarket boom but rather the fact that the public sharemarket game and schools sharemarket game were both running during March.

Crikey’s founder is a luddite so he found the new ASX site difficult to navigate and slower to pull up old announcements but what would he know. An ASX spokesman claimed “reactions yesterday were positive with most users being appreciative of the new layout and structure.”

As a government-sanctioned monopoly that has delivered its original 606 investors a massive 150-fold return on their original $25,000 membership, the ASX is always keen to exploit its huge pricing power and cement its status as the best earner over the past decade.

Visitors to the site yesterday were reminded of the following:

Company announcements
Please note that from August 1 2004, any ASX website user seeking to access company announcements will be required to confirm they are a retail investor using the information for personal rather than commercial purposes. This is to ensure announcements will continue to be provided free of charge on for the general public.

Of course, it would be too much for a publically listed share market to make all public announcements by publically listed companies freely available for everyone, no matter what their purpose.

If you’ve got a view on the new ASX website, email [email protected].

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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