Thomson Reuters has acquired Breakingviews, a clearinghouse for financial-opinion columns published in newspapers around the world. With the acquisition, Thomson Reuters will gain access to opinionated analysis of the business world, complementing its in-depth but more straightforward business and finance content.
The terms of the deal, expected to close before the end of the year, were not disclosed.
Breakingviews' finance content is carried in major national newspapers like The New York Times as well as top-ranked international publications such as France's Le Monde and Spain's El Pais, which together aggregate a total audience of about 4.5 million for Breakingviews pieces.
It also distributes content to about 400 subscribing financial institutions. Thomson Reuters said it hopes to expand syndication of Breakingviews content to additional newspapers. In June, Thomson Reuters signed a deal with Captivate Network bringing both news content and advertising to Captivate's digital displays in office buildings. The deal expands Captivate's business information offerings, giving it a leg up in its competition with The Wall Street Journal's WSJ Office Network.
According to 2008 estimates, Thomson Reuters provides about 34% of the world's financial data, versus 33% for Bloomberg. Both companies have also faced new competition from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which over the last two years acquired Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones and launched a new Fox Business Channel.
Thomson Reuters itself is a relatively new entity, formed by the Canadian-based Thomson's acquisition of Netherlands-based Reuters in April 2008. This combination, like the more recent moves, had a two-way benefit -- giving Thomson wider distribution for its financial and business information, while bolstering Reuters' content offerings.
The last few weeks have seen a mating dance in the business and financial information space. The most recent news from Thomson Reuters comes just a day after its joint bid with Zelnick Media for BusinessWeek magazine was stymied by Bloomberg LP.
Two weeks ago, The Washington Post and Bloomberg news unveiled plans to launch a new news service as part of a deal that gives Bloomberg access to Post content for distribution on its financial news network. WashPo can tap into Bloomberg's pool of 300,000 demographically desirable subscribers, while Bloomberg's content will reach roughly 1 million subscribers to the newspaper's print edition, and an even larger number of online readers.
The same week, the Washington Post severed its decades-old content-sharing agreement with the Los Angeles Times. With the end of this arrangement, the latter is now free to contribute its content to a joint news service operated by McClatchy and Tribune Co. (which owns LAT).