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Wall St firms creating Bloomberg chat alternative

NYT/ AFR | May 22, 2013
Nine Wall Street firms have been actively involved in creating an alternative to one of Bloomberg LP's chat messaging network.

Reuters, like Bloomberg, controls about a third of the data terminal business, but its services are available in a more piecemeal fashion.


None of the firms involved responded to requests for comment on the project. A spokesman for Reuters, Yvonne Diaz, declined to comment specifically on the project but said: "We are committed to providing open platforms that support connectivity, communication and collaboration across the financial markets community and to continually improving our customers' experience in these areas."

Any new messaging service is likely to gain traction only if it attracted the biggest customers of the banks, asset managers like BlackRock and Fidelity. Some asset managers are said to have been involved in the talks so far, but not at the same level as the banks. The new system will also need to convince users that it is secure enough to communicate sensitive trading information.

Bloomberg has taken several steps to repair the damage done by the revelation that its journalists could see what bank employees were doing on their Bloomberg terminals. It cut off journalists' access to that information and appointed the former chief executive of IBM, Samuel Palmisano, on Friday to review its policies. A Bloomberg spokesman declined to comment on the competitors' efforts.

Sales of Bloomberg terminals have been slowing in recent years, leading Bloomberg to expand into several new businesses, including some that are in competition with its customers. That has helped stoke Wall Street's desire to search for ways to decrease its reliance on Bloomberg services.


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