Fidelity better hope it can keep up with the ever-faster pace of trades on the Internet because in the first week of March, the Boston-based mutual fund company ran a series of print ads bragging it has not had any online outages, as some of its competitors have. The ads ran headlines saying: "If you're tired of online hype and want reliable service, consider Fidelity Brokerage."

The company also issued a press release saying it "delivers 100 percent online trading systems availability during 1999" even though the first quarter of the year is not even over.

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