U.S. law enforcement authorities conducted an investigation into whether media companies facilitated insider trading by prematurely releasing market-sensitive government data, but decided not to bring charges, a source familiar with the probe said.
The investigation, first reported by the Wall Street Journal earlier on Monday, looked into whether news organizations used high-speed transmission systems to give some investors access to economic data a fraction of a second before the official release time, the source confirmed late on Monday.
Among the media companies investigated were Bloomberg LP, Thomson Reuters Corp and Dow Jones & Co., a unit of News Corp, according to the source.
Investigators launched the probe after spotting trading patterns suggesting some traders received data slightly before the release time; the investigators decided against filing charges because they could not link the pattern to specific actions by media companies, the source confirmed.
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