British news agency Reuters has confirmed merger talks are going on with Canadian media group Thomson. If it goes ahead, the 13 billion euro deal would create the world’s biggest financial news and information company. Originally a newspaper publisher, Thomson has transformed itself into a major supplier of data to stockbrokers and other financial professionals in what is a booming market. The sector was estimated to be worth 9.2 billion euros last year.
Thomson currently has 11% of the market and Reuters has 23%. Together they would be slightly bigger than the current leader, privately-owned Bloomberg.
Reuters, founded by German-born immigrant Paul Julius Reuter in 1851, is a venerated name in journalism. To preserve its independence the company has 15 trustees, holding a “golden share” that could block a takeover. There might be objections from competition regulators.
This is the latest proposed big media merger. Last week Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation made a 3.7 billion euro bid for Dow Jones, which owns the Wall Street Journal. That was rejected by Dow Jones’ controlling investors, leading to speculation Murdoch may instead try to buy the Financial Times newspaper.