Reuters corporation has agreed to merge with Canadian information giant Thomson for £8.7bn reports The Guardian.
The two companies announced a week ago that they were in talks, alarming union members who fear that the company’s famed editorial integrity could be damaged. Crucially, the deal now has the backing of the Reuters Founders Share Company, which has the power to block any deal that might affect editorial independence.
However it is speculated that the merger may lead to job cuts across the combined workforce of nearly 50,000, with the two companies predicting annual cost savings of more than £500m within three years.
Union members at Reuters have written to the Founders Share Company flagging up a list of worries about the potential merger.
Among their concerns is the possible risk of the Thomson family selling on its new majority stake to another buyer, alluding to its sale of the Times to Rupert Murdoch.
Reuters was founded in 1851 by Paul Julius Reuter, a German-born immigrant who used a new cable laid between Calais and Dover to send stock quottions between London and Paris.