Re: Reed Elsevier / Wolters Kluwer merger off

Subject: Re: Reed Elsevier / Wolters Kluwer merger off
From: Emanuella Giavarra (
Date: pe 13 maalis 1998 - 16:54:51 EET

Dear list members,

I believe that the concerns expressed by the scholarly and scientific
communities towards the merger between Elsevier and Wolters Kluwer made
an impact on the conditions posed by the European Commission.

The Dutch newspaper Volkskrant reported on 10 March 1998 that Brussels
also responded to the concerns received from the scholarly and
scientific communities on the concentration of power. A Brussels source
was quoted saying 'Competition law is actually consumer law. When
consumers worry, the European Commission worries as well'.

This is a good sign!

Kind regards,
Emanuella Giavarra

Fred Friend wrote:
> It made a refreshing change to read some good news in the morning
> newspapers, viz. that the the Reed Elsevier / Wolters Kluwer proposed
> merger has been abandoned because of fear of conditions which might be
> imposed by the European Commission. Of course the statement issued by the
> Reed Elsevier Board was financial in nature: "significant changes to the
> merger terms that Wolters Kluwer felt necessary to protect the interests of
> its shareholders would make the merger unattractive from the standpoint of
> the Reed International and Elsevier shareholders" (what about the interests
> of the producers and users of the information they publish?) But for once
> market forces seem to have acted in the interests of academia.
> I do not know where that leaves some of the other mergers that have been
> happening, at least one of them through Kluwer. And one significant warning
> for those of us in Europe comes in the last sentence of today's report in
> "The Times": "In Brussels, a source close to the talks said that
> competition problems posed by the deal could have been solved, adding that
> the cancellation had surprised the Commission". For some time we have found
> that the Commission tends to support the viewpoint of large publishers, and
> it looks as though they would have been prepared to let the Elsevier/Kluwer
> merger go through. Not a good omen for future battles we may have to fight.
> Fred Friend
> xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
> Frederick J.Friend,
> Director Scholarly Communication,
> c/o Graduate School,
> North Cloisters,
> University College London,
> Gower Street,
> London WC1E 6BT,
> England.
> Telephone +44 171 380 7090
> Mobile phone 0385 921 774
> Fax +44 171 380 7043
> E-mail or
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