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Bloomberg's 'Spygate' Marks Murdoch's Latest Salvo

Stocks in this article: NWSA

Fenwick has a tough task. For 2012, Dow Jones held just a little over 1% of the $25.5 billion global financial data and news market, according to Burton-Taylor International Consulting, a market research operation based in Osprey, Florida. That comes to just $265 million in sales to the financial industry from Dow Jones Newswires and Factiva, said Burton-Taylor.

By comparison, Bloomberg held a 30.8% share of the market, on revenue of $7.9 billion, followed by Thomson Reuters with a 29.5% stake, or $7.5 billion in sales.

"Dow Jones is having a lot of issues as it redoes Factiva, which is part of this puzzle," Ken Doctor, a media analyst at Outsell Inc. in Burlingame, Calif., said in a phone interview. "They brought in former Bloomberg leadership to run the B-to-B side of the company, and they're struggling a lot with the change. They're struggling with customers, they're changing pricing, they're changing products. Dow Jones is not in a strong position."

Dow Jones spokeswoman Sara Blask, in an e-mail, declined to comment on the company's financial data operations, and competition with Bloomberg.

The Post's eagerness to pump the Bloomberg story comes as Murdoch is months away from splitting The Post, the Journal, Dow Jones and his other worldwide news properties into a separately-traded company that will retain the News Corp. name. Murdoch's television and movie businesses will be reincorporated as 21st Century Fox.

Like any news operation that relies on print for part of its revenue, Murdoch is eager to see the new News Corp. grow its financial data business. Chipping away at Bloomberg is a reasonably good strategy.

"There are plenty of vendors but no one has the functionality and experience and knowledge that's gone into their products like Bloomberg and Thomson," said Vasant Dhar, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business and director of its Center for Business Analytics. "There are alternatives, but they've become very entrenched. This discussion about privacy and data may be a good thing for the market, it might put some competitive pressures on the incumbents."

Ty Trippet, a Bloomberg spokesman, declined to comment on the company's competitors.

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