Bloomberg, BNA and the Brain

Bloomberg reminds me of the character The Brain from the Animaniacs cartoon Pinky and the Brain:

Pinky: “Gee, Brain, what do you want to do tonight?”
The Brain: “The same thing we do every night, Pinky—try to take over the world!”

This is evidenced in the November 28, 2011 issue of Newsweek with its Business Media article “Bloomberg’s Plan for World Domination,” by Nick Summers.

“With a one-two punch of news and data, Bloomberg L.P. has built a global empire over the last 30 years.”  Click on the link above to see a chart of how it breaks down.

The article discussed Bloomberg’s $ 990 million acquisition of BNA and writes that “. . . every lawyer,lobbyist, and lawmaker in the capital depends on BNA’s proprietary data to do his or her job . . . “

Court TV and American Lawyer founder Steven Brill, who once “lusted after BNA,” is quoted as saying, “. . . [BNA] is very high-margin, high-priced, and specialized . . . “

From the Newsweek article:  “Now Bloomberg can feed BNA’s sought-after data directly to BLaw . . . The result: a one-stop shop.”

In my opinion, this one-stop shopping synthesis of information from a rich and wide variety of sources – high-quality secondary sources, all primary authority, dockets, pleadings, crowd-sourced commentary, and more can only enrich the research experience. 


One thought on “Bloomberg, BNA and the Brain

  1. We have been hearing the Bloomberg Law story for what seems like a decade. Wait, it IS a decade. In 2002 we first started getting calls from aggressive Bloomberg reps selling terminals. We subscribed to a terminal (and still have one) and told them we would not buy more at that price. Then there was the big Bloomberg Web data base launch. For a while it seemed to have some direction and we participated in their 2009 “pilot”. There was regular engagement and what even looked like a strategy. Now in 2012 the reality is this: The service is weird mix of their free financial website’s news and basic state plan like primary materials – no headnotes, unreliable citation service, next to useless legislative materials – not usable for a serious litigation practice. Even worse, they seem to have replaced all their account reps with any legal knowledge with reps who insist on calling every attorney at our firm, at any time of day, without any real agenda and with little knowledge of who we are and what we do. Bloomberg have announced this as their Wexis killer for so long, the legal market was hopeful they might have something to show, but having really taken a look under the hood, this firm can tell you its long on promise, very short on delivery. BNA will add some candy to their secondary library. Other than that, Bloomberg is not a serious legal research contender. The Bloomberg terminal, on the other hand, is terrific and seems to get better every time we switch it on. Couldn’t live without it.They should stick to what they know.

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