A consortium of banks and money managers led by Goldman Sachs are expected to announce a deal to buy the instant-messaging company Perzo. The banks are hopeful that Perzo can compete and eventually replace Bloomberg messaging.
The group's ability to draw support from Wall Street's biggest names underlines the discomfort some in the industry have with Bloomberg's grip on the messaging service traders use to communicate with one another. While the terms of the deal haven't been finalized, some of the 15 firms are expected have a larger stake in the new company than others. The banks and money managers are aligned by frustration over the $20,000-a-year price tag that Bloomberg charges for each terminal they sell. Banks have been looking to cut costs aggressively as revenue has been challenged by a low interest-rate environment, and new rules on capital and risk-taking. By backing what they hope will become a viable alternative to Bloomberg's messaging service—a function widely used by traders—some bank executives believe they can negotiate a better price for their terminals. A Bloomberg spokesman declined to comment. In recent years, bank executives also have sought to monitor more closely how their employees interact on message services, especially as regulators increase scrutiny of traders' communications. Some backers of the new platform say it will allow them to better customize and police traders' messages. Bloomberg executives have said the company already provides clients with tools to monitor and control employee messages sent through its system. And they argue that a stand-alone chat platform couldn't integrate other functions that the Bloomberg terminal offers, from data and news to analytics.