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Thomson Reuters seen benefitting from Bloomberg scandal

The Desk: Matthew Keys
The Desk: Matthew Keys

A privacy scandal involving Bloomberg’s newsroom and the company’s financial terminals may benefit its chief rival Thomson Reuters.

Multiple reports surfaced late last week and into the weekend that journalists at Bloomberg accessed client information through a feature on its legacy financial terminals. That feature reportedly allowed Bloomberg reporters to see when terminal clients had logged in and what information clients had accessed.

Bloomberg has been accused of trying to “break news” through this feature. The company announced over the weekend the feature had been disabled, with a spokesman admitting that the feature was a “mistake.”

(Read: Breaking down the Bloomberg terminal scandal)

Shares in Thomson Reuters rose on Friday in both the New York and Toronto stock exchanges after the New York Post published its story on Bloomberg’s privacy woes, leading to speculation that professionals could soon ditch their Bloomberg terminals for a comparable product offered by Thomson Reuters.

On average, the lease on a Bloomberg terminal runs for about $1,800 compared to around $1,000 for Eikon, a comparable product offered by Thomson Reuters.

Thomson Reuters seized the opportunity to declare its editorial operation, Reuters News, was independent from its terminal operation. Public relations director Yvonne Diaz says Reuters News journalists do not have access to information of Eikon clients.

Advertisements for Eikon were observed running in heavy rotation over the weekend on Reuters’ newly-launched news website “Next,” currently in beta.

Sales of Bloomberg’s terminals are said to make up for about 85 percent of its overall business. Bloomberg Television, one of the company’s editorial operations, competes with CNBC. CNBC gets its financial data from Bloomberg rival Thomson Reuters.

The Baron: Reuters may benefit from Bloomberg’s woe
New York Times: Privacy breach on Bloomberg’s terminals

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About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is the publisher of The Desk and reports on the business and policy matters involving the broadcast television, streaming video and radio industries. He previously worked for Thomson Reuters, Disney-ABC, Tribune Broadcasting and McNaughton Newspapers. Matthew is based in Northern California, has won numerous awards in the field of journalism, and is a member of IRE (Investigative Reporters and Editors).