Jonathan Berr, a former Bloomberg News journalist, writes on the Blogging Stocks web site about the challenge facing the combined Thomson/Reuters operation in competing against his former employer.
Berr wrote, “Bloomberg and Thomson were on friendly terms until fairly recently. Then, Thompson wouldn’t answer questions from Bloomberg reporters about the company’s earnings estimates. Eventually, Bloomberg decided to do its own polls of analysts.
“The combined company may be able to erode Bloomberg’s pricing power. When I first started with Bloomberg, it was a mark of status on Wall Street to have your own Bloomberg terminal. Most users that I see now share a Bloomberg to save money.
“Nonetheless, Thomson and Reuters have a tough challenge. In addition to Bloomberg, there’s the potential that a Rupert Murdoch-owned Dow Jones can pour money into digital publishing products that compete against offerings of the merged company. The Bloomberg threat isn’t theoretical.
“Though the Bloomberg terminals aren’t cheap and aren’t very user friendly for the untrained, it’s tough to beat their functionality. Many companies have tried and failed to develop a ‘Bloomberg killer’ over the years. Bloomberg terminals even have survived the Internet age.”
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