Goldman Sachs is spearheading an effort among Wall Street's leading banks to develop a chat tool called "Babble" that could replace the instant messaging service on Bloomberg's ubiquitous terminals.
The project is the starkest sign yet of growing strains between big banks and the company founded by Michael Bloomberg, the former New York mayor.
Bloomberg dominates the financial news and data landscape on Wall Street, charging more than $20,000 a year for use of its terminals at a time when banks are under intense pressure to cut costs and comply with new regulations.
The company's internal messaging service, known as Instant Bloomberg, is one of the main ways for bankers and traders to keep in touch with their customers at pension funds, hedge funds and asset managers.
Goldman's chatroom project comes after tensions between big banks and Bloomberg were also heightened last year when senior executives at the bank confronted the company over its reporters allegedly using private terminal data to track bankers.
Since then Bloomberg has apologized and it and Goldman have attempted to repair their relationship, but the bank's efforts to create a viable alternative to Instant Bloomberg risk reviving tensions.
A spokesman for Goldman refused to comment on the project, which has been given the working name of"Babble", according to people familiar with the effort.
Other banks including JPMorgan Chase –which also raised concerns last year about Bloomberg journalists allegedly using proprietary terminal data to inform their reporting – are said to be involved. A spokesman for JPMorgan declined to comment.