London Stock Exchange is protesting against Reuters news agency’s plans to put its news behind a paywall. The London Stock Exchange now says this is in breach of a 30-year agreement for the sale of Reuters news to information service Refinitiv that is owned by the Stock Exchange, website thebarron.info reports.
The news agency recently announced that its news service will be behind a paywall shortly. Refinitiv is by far the agency’s biggest customer.
David Craig, CEO of Refinitiv, and Andrea Stone, London Stock Exchange Group’s chief customer proposition officer, say in a letter to Michael Friedenberg, CEO of Reuters news agency, that a paywall “would cause Refinitiv significant loss and material and irreparable harm.”
Thomson Reuters, the parent company of Reuters News, has a 15% stake in London Stock Exchange Group (LSEG) since the 2019 USD 27 billion all-stock agreement when the LSEG bought Refinitiv.
In a joint statement LSEG and Thomson Reuters told Barron they have a long standing and valued partnership.
“Just as with any commercial agreement, there are ongoing and private discussions about our business approach and products. The foundation of our partnership is strong and we will continue to work together to deliver for all of our customers.”
Financial information now called Refinitiv were part of Thomson Reuters until 2018 when a majority stake was purchased by private-equity firm Blackstone.
That deal included the 30-year agreement for Refinitiv to pay Reuters USD 325 million a year for the supply of news. Refinitiv is using the news service to inform its customers, among them several global companies, about economic, political and market moving news. This is the background to why LSEG and Refinitiv are protesting against Reuters plans to ask users to pay to read the news – Refinitiv thinks the company has already paid for a large number of readers.
In 2019, London Stock Exchange announced it was buying Refinitiv, a deal that not long ago was finalized.
The plans for a paywall were presented when the news agency said that it is redesigning its website and will target a professional audience for its business, financial and general news, as part of a wider strategy to boost revenue from its digital readers.