There are 250,000 installations of this product around the world, for each of which customers typically pay $1,500 a month. On the floors of large financial institutions, there will usually be seas of Bloombergs, used for trading, research, investment banking, arbitrage, you name it. But they can turn up anywhere: on the desks of attorneys, in the homes of private investors, in the offices.
The Dow Jones vs. Bloomberg saga is a stunner. In 1982, when Bloomberg the company entered the scene as a gnat, Dow Jones was America’s uncontested and proud king of financial information. It had the Journal and the Dow Jones ticker and also a glimmer that the future was technology. So in the late 1980s, Dow Jones bought a leading electronic product, Telerate, for about $1.6 billion. But Telerate simply supplied financial information to its customers – period. As they say at Bloomberg, “Telerate didn’t do anything with the data,” never providing the software that would magnify the usefulness of its information. And in 1998, struggling with both Telerate operating losses and shareholders furious about them, Dow Jones sold the company to Bridge Information Systems for $510 million, more than $1 billion less than it paid.