ASX website crash reminds everyone it has a monopoly

A new platform leaves brokers, investors and analysts unimpressed and questioning whether ASX Ltd should be the only game in town.

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ASX Ltd (ASX: ASX) has been heavily criticised for problems with its new website, which went live on Monday.

After testing and trial runs, the system went fully public on Monday. But it was plagued with issues on day one – including not being able to show company announcements in the midst of the annual general meetings season.

"ASX announcements are currently not displaying on the ASX website," stated ASX Ltd's Twitter account.

"All company announcements are available to view via brokers and news agencies."

Even the website's intentional designs were panned, with many social media users criticising putting previously accessible information behind a user login wall.

An ASX spokesperson responded to the criticism today, saying:

ASX has since updated the website to normal operation and will continue to actively monitor the performance and availability, and apologises for the inconvenience.

ASX would like to reassure users of the website that information on the website will continue to be freely available and has significantly reduced the amount of data collected from users.

ASX has a monopoly, remember?

Some users said the failures reminded investors that the company runs a monopoly.

In the UK, publicly listed companies are allowed to choose from a few different providers to meet their mandatory disclosure obligations. These include news agencies.

In Australia, all ASX companies must go through ASX Ltd to post their announcements.

OpenMarkets chief executive Ivan Tchourilov told the Australian Financial Review that the ASX stranglehold in Australia, like any monopoly, was unhealthy.

"The industry is concerned that ASX has too much power to dictate play and there isn't much of an opportunity for competitors to create a diverse environment that will ultimately benefit customers," he said.

Motley Fool contributor Tony Yoo has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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