All the news that’s fit to buy

May 15, 2007
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All the news that’s fit to buy

May 15, 2007
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TEXT OF INTERVIEW

SCOTT JAGOW: We’ve talked a lot about buyouts in the news business lately. Rupert Murdoch bidding for the Wall Street Journal. The Tribune company going private. And today in London, Reuters agreed to be bought out. Our correspondent Stephen Beard joins us from London.Stephen, tell us a little more about this deal.

STEPHEN BEARD: The Canadian publisher Thomson has agreed to merge with Reuters. The deal values Reuters at $17.2 billion. Now a key part of the two businesses, Reuters is providing financial data terminals to banks and broking houses. This deal will put them marginally ahead of Bloomberg and into the No. 1 slot.

JAGOW: Is there something different here, is this a different beast than say the newspapers which have been struggling so much to make a profit?

BEARD: Yes, I mean this deal is reflection of booming financial markets because this is where these companies are making most of their money. They are supplying financial data to the banks and broking houses who are making out like bandits

JAGOW: Are there any antitrust concerns to be worried about here?

BEARD: Yes, because this deal is subject to both regulatory and shareholder approval. There’s also some concern actually about worker unrest. The unions representing the Reuters workforce in the U.S., the U.K. and Canada have just written to the Reuters trustees expressing deep concern about deal, suggesting that it might possibly erode Reuters news values and independence having the company owned by a single shareholder like the Thomson Corporation.

JAGOW: Alright Stephen Beard in London, thank you.

BEARD: OK Scott.

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