Financial Times Marketwatch To Launch Real Time Internet Service for Europe's Personal Investors

January 06, 2000

The Financial Times Group, Europe's premier source of business news and analysis, and MarketWatch.com, operator of America's leading financial news website, have today signed a joint venture agreement to launch a new Internet service that will provide free, fast, incisive, real time financial and market news to Europe's rapidly growing communities of private investors. The new site will be modelled on CBS.MarketWatch.com, which is by far America's biggest and fastest growing financial news site, with 4.6m unique monthly visitors and 432m page per views in the third quarter of last year. The site will be launched in the first half of this year. By focusing on the specific needs of the private investor, Financial Times MarketWatch.com will complement ft.com, the leading portal for the international business community, FTYourMoney, targeted at the UK personal finance market, and the group's leading business websites in France, Spain and Germany.

"There is a revolution occurring in how people manage their money and investments and the tidal wave that started in the U.S. is coming to Europe" said Larry Kramer, chairman and CEO of MarketWatch.com and chairman of the new venture.

"CBS.MarketWatch.com has taken the lead in the US as the primary source of news for the exploding market of individual investors and with the Financial Times we aim to capture that same market in Europe. The individual investor everywhere is desperate for real-time information about this new age economy. We have leveled the playing field and are giving individuals the very news and data that until now was available only to the market professional", Mr Kramer said.

Stephen Hill, Chief Executive of the FT Group, added, "The site aims to be Europe's leading personal investment site just as CBS.MarketWatch leads the way in America. It furthers our goal of providing the very best online coverage of European companies, markets and economies from every angle and to suit every taste. It will strengthen the FT Group's position as Europe's leading online presence in financial and business news, comment and analysis."

The site aims to capture the expanding market of European private investors who make their investment decisions online or look to the Internet for quick, market oriented news. The rapid growth in private investor interest in European markets is driven by developments such as the launch of LSE's Techmark and the expansion of NASDAQ into Europe. The tone and content of the site will have a strong European focus on companies in the telecommunications, Internet, media and electronic commerce sectors, as well as the UK's mutual funds market. The site will be launched initially in the English language with German and French language versions to follow.

Under the terms of the agreement signed today, the FT group will advertise and market the site through its European network of business newspapers and websites and MarketWatch.com will supply the technology and infrastructure for the new site. The site will have its own dedicated team of journalists, initially covering the London, Paris, Frankfurt and Amsterdam markets, but will have extensive links to related stories and content on ft.com and CBS.MarketWatch.com. Zach Leonard, who was instrumental in launching FTYourMoney.com, the FT's new UK personal finance website, will be the chief executive of the new venture. Thom Calandra, editor in chief of CBS.Marketwatch.com and the site's lead columnist, is moving to London to become editor-in-chief of the new site.

Thom Calandra said: "European investors are ready to knock down the barriers to on-line trading. We're going to put small investors in to the driver's seat with the news about the new economy."

Notes to Editors:

In November 1999, the FT group and MarketWatch.com formed a new marketing alliance as the FT Group announced plans to merge its Financial Times Asset Management (FTAM) with the Data Broadcasting Corporation (DBC), one of America's leading providers of real-time financial market data. The FT group will own a 60% stake in the newly combined business. DBC owns a 32% stake in MarketWatch.com, operator of CBS.MarketWatch.com. On completion of the deal, the Financial Times Group will take up DBC's representation on the MarketWatch.com board. The CBS Corporation has a similar sized stake in MarketWatch.com.

MarketWatch.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:MKTW) is a global financial news organization, providing fast, relevant and accurate information via the Internet, television and radio to help people make and save money. The company operates two of the leading financial websites at http://cbs.marketwatch.com and http://www.bigcharts.com. In addition to its comprehensive, real-time business news, financial programs and analytical tools, the company produces CBS MarketWatch Weekend, seen on many CBS television stations. The MarketWatch.com editorial staff also provides business and economic reports to The CBS Evening News with Dan Rather and CBS News' The Early Show and reports daily on CBS Television and Radio Network news programming. MarketWatch.com also operates a financial news radio network heard on more than 60 radio stations around the country via the Westwood One radio network.

MarketWatch.com, Inc. was founded in 1997 by CBS Broadcasting, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation (NYSE:CBS) and Data Broadcasting Corporation (NASDAQ:DBCC.) MarketWatch.com is headquartered in San Francisco, with major facilities and bureaus in New York City, Minneapolis, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Detroit, Austin, Tokyo and London.

The Financial Times group consists of:

  • the Financial Times newspaper, the world's leading international business newspaper;
  • ft.com, one of the world's leading international business information websites;
  • the leading business and financial newspapers and websites in France (Les Echos) and Spain (Expansion), with a new German language business and finance newspaper and website to be launched in partnership with Gruner + Jahr, one of Germany's leading newspaper and magazine publishers, early in the new year;
  • Financial Times Business, which produces specialist information on energy and finance markets;
  • Financial Times Asset Management, one of the world's leading sources of securities pricing and specialist financial information to global institutional, professional and individual investors;
  • FTSE International, a joint venture with the London Stock Exchange, which provides the professional investment community with the leading UK indices and, together with the Amsterdam Stock Exchange, publishes the Eurotop family of indices;
  • a 50% stake in The Economist group, which publishes the world's leading weekly business and current affairs journal.

The Financial Times Group is part of Pearson plc, the international media company, which also owns Pearson Education, the world's leading education company; Pearson Television, the world's leading international independent television production company; the Penguin Group, the world's most renowned English-language publisher; and Recoletos, one of Spain's leading media companies. For more information about Pearson plc, go to www.pearson.com.

For further information
Pearson plc

John Fallon
+44 (0)20 7411 2310
john.fallon@pearson.com