Bloomberg Pays Economist Group Over Security Breach

Beltway rivals have history of tension

Bloomberg has paid the Economist Group an unspecified amount to compensate the latter for unauthorized access by former CQ Roll Call employees now working at Bloomberg, according to an unusual joint statement this morning.

The rival publishing and information companies say that former employees of the Economist Group’s CQ Roll Call group now working for Bloomberg continued to use their CQ log-ins and passwords to access information while working for Bloomberg and also let some of their coworkers do so.

The cryptic statement doesn’t say much else, and reps for both companies wouldn’t answer any follow-up questions—leaving one to guess what kind of information was accessed, for how long, or whether disciplinary action has been taken against any employees.

Some context: the competition between Bloomberg and CQ Roll Call has intensified since Bloomberg went on a hiring tear in Washington, D.C., to launch Web-based news and data service Bloomberg Government. CQ Roll Call, which provides competing services, has been a prime target. Prominent CQ Roll Call vets who have made their way to Bloomberg have included Mike Riley, a former CQ editor now leading the edtorial side of BGov; Ken Sands, a former online editor of CQ; and Katherine Rizzo.

Tensions between the two surfaced back in 2010, when, in the months leading up to the launch of BGov, CQ Roll Call reportedly refused to renew Bloomberg’s subscriptions to its reporting service, which provides access to legislative tracking and government documents.