In the battle with Bloomberg, Thomson Reuters blinks

The financial news and wire service company will reportedly lay off "thousands" as it licks its wounds from a failed battle with its rival.

The war for financial data wages on, but the battle has been lost -- at least for Thomson Reuters.

The news giant will reportedly lay off thousands of employees worldwide as it begins to reel from the battles it is waging with established leaders: for financial data, Bloomberg; for wire service news, the Associated Press.

Thomson Reuters, of course, is the product of a 2008 merger that brought together the Canadian information services company and the revered 161-year-old British news agency. Like Bloomberg, it sells specialized information to subscribers through terminals -- but its latest, the Eikon (pictured above), hasn't quite caught on as hoped, despite a string of technology acquisitions to bolster its platform -- including real-time data mining enterprise company Streamlogics in 2009, tick data provider Vhayu in 2009, energy analytics firm Point Carbon A/S in 2010 and banking data and analytics company Highline Financial in 2010.

Further, the company continues to suffer from an existential crisis over its purpose: publisher, or technology provider? The answer is of course both, but that's cold comfort when revenues aren't rising.

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