let’s get together

Posted on May 5, 2007

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Big businesses are feeling the urge to merge.

Microsoft is interfacing with Yahoo, in the hope of forming a partnership. Bloomberg reported that according to insiders, the move is aimed at battling Google.

The tie-up makes sense. With its focus on developing internet search and advertising programs, the combined entity could pose a more formidable opponent to market leader Google.

In similiar fashion under the current buyout craze, Rupert Murdoch made a $5 billion bid for Dow Jones & Company; and Thomson Corp has offered to buy Reuters in a “friendly takeover”.

Mr Murdoch is known to have long set his sights on Dow Jones. His offer was rejected by Dow Jone’s controlling Bancroft family, although Mr Murdoch’s attempt is probably far from ending there.

The Thomson-Reuters deal is still on the table, with Reuters likely to say yes, according to the Financial Times.

Owning Reuters won’t just allow Thomson to obtain a world news service, it will simultaneously increase Thomson’s share of the financial information market to 34 per cent, from its present 11 per cent. Those in the know also revealed that Thomson’s move is meant to dethrone Bloomberg LP as the world’s largest provider of financial news and information.

Both offers signal the consolidation of the financial news sector, with the trend towards financial news agencies owned by a few global players disseminating news through various platforms from print, to the internet, and specialized terminals.

At least the financial news sector is a bright spark in the news and information industry. The newspaper industry continues to weaken, suffering falling circulation, sliding advertising and job cuts.

Of utmost importance, however, is that the quality of the financial news does not slip with all the imminent mergers. As the industry gradually becomes owned by a few media barons, independence and editorial integrity will hopefully continue to be upheld.

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Posted in: business, media