Wolters Kluwer - Reed Elsevier update

Subject: Wolters Kluwer - Reed Elsevier update
From: Barbara Schleihagen (eblida@nblc.nl)
Date: ma 12 tammi  1998 - 17:46:31 EET

Agence Europe reported in its 24 December 1997 issue that at the close of
the preliminary one-month investigation, the European Commission decided to
carry out an indepth examination of the merger project between Wolters
Kluwer and Reed Elsevier, because of the strong position already held by
these companies in several segments of the publishing market.

The following background information is given: The British Company, Reed
Elsevier, is a joint subsidiary of Reed and Elsevier, active throughout the
world in the publication and the provision of information. Its Dutch
partner, Wolters Kluwer, is also a publisher, present in 25 countries and,
above all, in most European countries. They are both leaders in the
provision of information for professional purposes.

Overlapping of their activities are very significant in the world market
for the publishing of: academic works, national legislation, business,
accounting, taxation and education, as well as dictionaries, consumer
magazines, databases in the trade of freight and the organisation of fairs
and seminars.

The "serious doubts" expressed by the Commission on the subject of this
merger also come from the fact that no other editing house for professional
publications has, at the present time, financial resources, a range of
products and a geographical coverage of an extent that is comparable with
that of the new entity.

It is also concerned about the impact of this project, given the good
reputation of the parties and the gap observed beteen their combined market
shares and those of their competitors in the above-mentioned fields.

The Commission has now decided to go on to the second phase of the
preliminary control procedure for mergers. This decision of prodecure will
not prejudge the final decision that the Commission will adopt in four
months' time.

Barbara Schleihagen

Barbara Schleihagen, Director
Heidi Grootscholten, EU Policy Officer
P.O. Box 43300
NL-2504 AH The Hague
Tel: +31-70-309 06 08
Fax: +31-70-309 07 08
email: eblida@nblc.nl

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