Bloomberg complained about Reuters deal with Michigan
Bloomberg News editor in chief Matthew Winkler complained last year to the University of Michigan about its relationship with Thomson Reuters that allows the financial news and data company to provide consumer confidence data to some traders early for a fee.
Brody Mullins, Michael Rothfeld, Tom McGinty and Jenny Strasburg of The Wall Street Journal write, “Matthew Winkler, editor in chief of Reuters rival Bloomberg News, criticized the University of Michigan’s arrangement with Reuters in a letter to the university’s president and provost in April 2012.
“‘As an institution that receives public funding, the university has a legal and ethical obligation to be accountable to the public. If such organizations as Bloomberg News, Reuters, Dow Jones and others do not have equal access to information, neither does the public,’ Mr. Winkler wrote, in a communication reviewed by the Journal. He said Reuters’s subscribers had ‘an unfair advantage.’
“Suellyn Scarnecchia, then the university’s general counsel, responded to Bloomberg that university officials ‘have always been comfortable that our relationships and structures were in full compliance with all applicable laws.’
“Six years earlier—before Reuters acquired distribution rights—Bloomberg itself bid for them, promising it would create a level playing field.
“After its offer wasn’t accepted, a Bloomberg executive editor emailed the university complaining that in the deal the school planned to make with Reuters, ‘you will be guaranteeing that every other news organization—to say nothing of every investor who doesn’t subscribe to Reuters—will be disadvantaged. No wonder Reuters is willing to pay you so much more than Bloomberg: While we were offering money to help the University create a system that is fair to everyone, they are paying you to guarantee an unfair one!’
“A university economist told Bloomberg at that time that those were difficult issues the university was grappling with.
“Journal publisher Dow Jones doesn’t exclusively distribute indicators created by nongovernment entities but does send some exclusive content reported by its news staff to premium subscribers before it is published on general newswires or on its website. Most Journal articles are available only to subscribers.”
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