Summary:

The Financial Times needs all the luck and gumption it can get, to compete with Wall Street Journal under News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) A Telegraph…

The Financial Times needs all the luck and gumption it can get, to compete with Wall Street Journal under News Corp. (NYSE: NWS) A Telegraph story lays out the odds, and has some interesting perspective on FT’s hopes with Mergermarket, the M&A info company it bought last year.

FT Group CEO Rona Fairhead is finalizing a deal to sell the French business daily Les Echos, the disposal of a 50 per cent stake in FT Deutschland is expected to be next and a question-mark also hangs over Vedomosti, the Russian business paper jointly founded by FT parent company Pearson, (NYSE: PSO) Finnish group Sanoma and Dow Jones. All of this will help it focus on the main beachheads.

Online, FT.com’s subscriber numbers stand at 100,000, and it recently opened up the site for casual users…surprisingly, the number prepared to pay GBP 100 a year or more is growing slightly faster since the free content was expanded, according to Fairhead, though I would say it is a bit early to judge that.

Some big hopes with Mergermarket: It now employs 600 people – 200 in London, 155 in New York and 60 in Hong Kong. It was snapped up last year by Pearson for GBP 100 million, and its importance to the group is more significant than the modest price tag might suggest, the story says. And this will raise some eyebrows: Mergermarket

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