Reuters has postponed the launch of its earlier announced website paywall after protests from the news agency’s biggest customer Refinitiv that wants the site to remain open and says a paywall would violate the agreement the news agency has with Refinitiv. Nothing was said about how long the delay could be.
Reuters has a 30-year agreement with Refinitiv that pays 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 London Stock Exchange-owned Refinitiv is 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.
Editor-in-Chief Alessandra Galloni has informed the Reuters staff about pausing of the paywall and the introduction of a new legal news section on the website.
In a statement, Reuters said: “We are still working through our plans for the relaunch of Reuters.com as a subscription service.” Discussions with Refinitiv were “about our business approach and products, and how we can enhance our offer to all customers.”
Reuters in a news report said the postponement is a setback for the agency’s plans to build new sources of revenue via its website and raises questions about its relationship with its biggest customer.
Refinitiv was earlier part of Thomson Reuters but the majority of it was sold to private equity firm Blackstone. Later Blackstone and Thomson Reuters sold Refinitiv to London Stock Exchange. The deal includes the 30-year agreement that Refinitiv pays Reuters for its news service.