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Report: U.S. Reuters Probe Expands

January 30, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Investigators have developed evidence that a U.S. subsidiary of Reuters Holdings PLC commissioned another company to conduct electronic break-ins of rival Bloomberg’s computers, The New York Times reported today.

The company would then obtain confidential data that later may have reached executives at Reuters headquarters in London, the Times said.

The report comes a day after Reuters announced a federal grand jury in New York is investigating whether its subsidiary, Reuters Analytics Inc. of Stamford, Conn., stole information from Bloomberg LP.

Reuters Holdings said it had hired lawyers to conduct an internal inquiry.

Prosecutors have examined the news and financial data company for nearly a year, including an undercover investigation of the subsidiary, the Times reported.

Reuters Analytics, which competes with Bloomberg in its collection of data as well as in development of analytical programs for government bonds and other fixed-income securities, obtained information from Bloomberg’s operating code, the Times said, citing unidentified sources.

The code governs how the company’s data terminals work.

A former employee of one of the companies touched off the investigation, and at least one informant helped prosecutors get evidence, including audio records of executives, the Times said.

Bloomberg declined to comment.

Without the London executives’ knowledge, investigators in recent months have examined their travel records and contacts with officials of the American subsidiary, the Times said.

It was not immediately clear whether the London executives knew whether the information may have come from Bloomberg, the Times said.

The Times reported that Reuters was told of the criminal investigation on Jan. 21. American companies are required to disclose such information immediately, and it was not immediately clear why Reuters delayed its announcement for eight days, the Times said.

Reuters would not say whether any action had been taken against any employees. Spokesman Adrian Duffield in London said Reuters just recently learned about the investigation.

Shares in Reuters fell by 4.5 percent on the London Stock Exchange on Thursday. Reuters shares continued to fall today. The stock was down 1.9 percent in morning trading.

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