EURONEXT NV, which is set to be acquired by the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), has strengthened its position in the corporate newswire business by acquiring Hugin ASA of Norway.
The move means that the NYSE will join its US rival Nasdaq as the proud owner of a newswire service. In September, Nasdaq acquired PrimeZone, a small San Francisco-based newswire service.
That followed the sale of Business Wire to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway in March, the same month that Euronext entered the newswire business by purchasing Paris-based CompanyNews.
Now with its fully priced 20.5 million Euro ($27.3 million) purchase of Hugin, Euronext will beef up its newswire business and add ten offices in nine European countries.
“The acquisition of Hugin will increase Euronext’s presence on the market for corporate news distribution, broadening its range of services for both listed and unlisted companies,” Euronext said in a news release (what else).
Meanwhile, it was reported last month that United Business Media was willing to sell its highly profitable crown jewel PR Newswire. The private equity group Apax was said to be preparing a bid.
Of course, with their ability to set disclosure standards for listed companies, stock exchanges have the ability to stimulate business and shelter their newswire assets from disruptive new technologies like RSS feeds.
But isn’t that a huge conflict of interest? How will innovative new technologies and corporate websites ever be recognized as meeting disclosure requirements when stock exchanges have a vested interest in ensuring it never happens?