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Reuters Group PLC on Tuesday filed a complaint in St. Louis bankruptcy court accusing SunGard Data Systems Inc. of interfering with its purchase of Bridge Information Systems Inc.’s assets. On July 20, Judge David P. McDonald issued a temporary restraining order, at Bridge’s request, blocking Wayne, Pa.-based SunGard from trying to lure away Bridge employees. Both Reuters and Bridge are accusing SunGard of violating a confidentiality agreement that SunGard signed in February. The two complaints allege SunGard used insider information to poach three executives from Bridge Trading, the securities trading subsidiary SunGard failed to win in an April auction. Reuters, which is claiming interference and unfair competition, is seeking at least $50 million in punitive damages as well as a permanent injunction against SunGard to block any employee poaching from Bridge. Earlier the same day, Reuters announced that it would cut 1,100 jobs, or 7 percent of its global workforce, in an effort to cut costs as it posted a 17 percent drop in pretax earnings for the first half of the year. Reuters also said that it expects to close its Bridge asset purchase, still being reviewed by the U.S. Department of Justice, by the end of September. The company originally expected to close the deal by the end of August. Copyright (c)2001 TDD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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