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Bloomberg L.P. is an American multinational mass media corporation based in New York City. Bloomberg makes up one third of the $16 billion global financial data market with estimated revenue of $6.25 billion in 2009. Bloomberg L.P. was founded by Michael Bloomberg with the help of Thomas Secunda, Duncan MacMillan, and Charles Zegar in 1981 and a 30% ownership investment by Merrill Lynch. The company provides financial software tools such as analytics and equity trading platform, data services and news to financial companies and organizations around the world through the Bloomberg Terminal, its core money-generating product. Many customers use only a small fraction of the machine’s 30,146 functions. Bloomberg L.P. has grown to include a global news service, including television, radio, the Internet and printed publications.
Its current headquarters are located at the Bloomberg Tower, in Midtown Manhattan, New York City. The building is also known as One Beacon Court for the lighted rectangular beacon that caps the tower and the paved courtyard at the ground level.
Bloomberg L.P. was formed as a Delaware Limited Partnership in 1981 and has been in business since 1983. Michael Bloomberg owns 88% of the partnership. Bloomberg’s core business is leasing terminals to subscribers. It also runs Bloomberg Television, a financial Television network, and a business radio station WBBR in New York City at a loss. Bloomberg’s revenue for 2009 was estimated at $6.25 billion. Based on that estimate, the new projections would push revenue to nearly $6.9 billion for 2010. There are currently over 300,000 Bloomberg Terminal subscribers worldwide. Its competitors include SNL Financial, Interactive Data Corporation, Thomson Reuters, Capital IQ, Dow Jones Newswires, FactSet Research Systems, Dealogic and smaller companies such as New York Financial Press. In late 1996 Bloomberg bought back one-third of Merrill Lynch’s 30 percent stake in his company for $200 million valuing the company at $2 billion. In July 2008, Merrill Lynch agreed to sell its 20% stake in the firm back to Bloomberg, for a reported $4.43 billion, valuing the firm at approximately $22.5 billion.