Reuters Probes New Internet, E-Commerce Ventures

One of the world’s top newswire services is exploring the Internet’s potential for increasing its reach — and revenues. Reuters (Nasdaq: RTRSY), the London-based television and print news agency, assigned Executive Director David Ure to help the company’s Trading Systems Division exploit the Internet’s potential. Ure gets a seat on the company’s board of directors in exchange for his new focus on tapping electronic commerce to generate new business for Reuters.

The Reuters Trading Systems Division creates transaction systems for the foreign exchange and money markets, provides software for the distribution of information and offers risk management services in the equity market.

The company is also creating a new division called Reuters Ventures — to invest in new Internet and e-commerce initiatives. The new group will target growth in non-finance areas, such as the corporate sector, and will manage Dow Jones Reuters Business Interactive LLC, Reuters’ joint venture with Dow Jones, to provide news and financial information via the Internet.

About Reuters

Reuters is best known for its world and financial news stories, which are picked up by thousands of newspapers in the United States and abroad. The company has bureaus or divisions in more than 90 countries. However, Reuters provides other services it hopes can become significant revenue generators in the growing Internet world, with some strategy and direction from a dedicated executive staff.

Reuters designs and installs enterprise-wide information management and risk management systems for the financial markets and develops equity and foreign exchange transaction systems. “It extensively uses Internet technologies for wider distribution of information and news,” company literature says. Reuters provides professional services such as the Reuters Business Briefing and Reuters Insurance Briefing and a U.S. Health Information service. In addition, Reuters tracks nearly a dozen different financial market indices and provides individual investment tracking services such as MoneyNet.

“David Ure’s appointment may be traced back to the two important decisions we made some years ago to set up a new media unit in the United States and to invest in the Internet companies in Silicon Valley and elsewhere. Both programs have been successful and have brought us profit, useful assets and invaluable experience. We are creating the new Internet portfolio at Board level because we feel we are ready to move further, faster,” Reuters CEO Peter Job said.

Reaching Out Globally

Reuters has always has a global presence that has been the envy of its American rivals, the Associated Press and United Press International before it went spiraling downwards.

A $5 billion (US$) a year media conglomerate, Reuters is certainly helped in its international perspective by its British roots and its proximity — geographically as well as in mindset — with continental Europe.

As evidenced by Monday’s announcement, the company intends to expand its global reach through the Internet — a decidedly quicker, less expensive and increasingly popular route for news sources to utilize in the transmission of information.

Last April, Reuters signed an agreement with E*Trade to be the primary provider of financial news and information on the online trader’s network of Web sites. E*Trade will post Reuters news and information on its U.S., Canadian, Australian and French Web sites this year and will provide the service to new sites that it unveils in the future. As befits an internationally minded company, Reuters provides news in 22 languages.

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