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July 8 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp said it would suspend its early provision to a small group of clients of the widely watched Thomson Reuters/University of Michigan consumer sentiment data at the request of the New York Attorney General.
The news and information company has an agreement with the University of Michigan to allow some of its clients to receive the data 2 seconds before its other clients.
But the arrangement is the subject of a review by the office of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, Thomson Reuters said in a statement on Sunday.
The review follows a series of media reports about the early release of the twice-monthly data and a lawsuit by a former Thomson Reuters employee, who says he was fired for whistle-blowing activity.
Thomson Reuters did not disclose how much clients paid for the data or how much it paid the University of Michigan.
The New York Times said on Sunday that some clients paid more than $6,000 a month for the 2-second advantage.
"Thomson Reuters strongly believes that news and information companies can legally distribute non-governmental data and exclusive news through services provided to fee-paying subscribers," said Thomson Reuters spokesman Lemuel Brewster.
"It is widely understood that news and information companies compete for exclusive news and differentiated content to help their customers make better informed trading and investment decisions," he added.
The New York Attorney General's office did not immediately respond to a request seeking comment.
Effective on July 12, all Thomson Reuters clients will receive the survey data at 9:55 AM ET before it is sent out by public press release at 10:00 AM EST.