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Move Over Bloomberg — Google Backs Bloomberg Challenger Symphony

A very large player has backed a Bloomberg rival all the way to the trading floor (or at least the chat terminals that are used on them).

Google plans to invest in a new round of funding for messaging company Symphony Communication Services that values the Bloomberg challenger at $650 million, sources close to the matter have told The Wall Street Journal.

Goldman Sachs Group, Morgan Stanley and BlackRock are among the banks and investment firms that have previously put their support behind Symphony, which launched its service on Sept. 15. For a tech powerhouse like Google to now throw its weight behind the company further bolsters Symphony’s position as an alternative to the Bloomberg LP terminals — which, the WSJ story notes, are a significant expense for financial firms — on trading floors.

Symphony, which has not disclosed its number of users, has formed partnerships with research firm S&P Capital IQ and Web data collection agency Selerity as part of its efforts to provide news and research content on its terminals (in addition to their primary chat function).

The WSJ story points out that encryption technology was initially a selling point of the Symphony terminals, but that very aspect — given its potential impact on record-keeping — drew regulatory attention from the New York State Department of Financial Services. Since that time, WSJ adds, an agreement has been reached between the agency and the four banks it regulates that invested in Symphony (Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, Credit Suisse Group, Bank of New York Mellon), requiring the four institutions to keep copies of all electronic communications sent to or from them through Symphony for seven years.

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