Open Thread Thursday: Advance Token to GO

This past week the big news was EBSCO’s acquisition of H.W. Wilson. With this move, it raises some old concerns and fears about having a small number of companies with a large amount of subscription content. I don’t believe I’d have to go too far to find a disgruntled story about bad dealings with database vendors when it comes to subscription bundles and pricing. I’m not suggest that is the case here (time will certainly tell), but when the number of companies providing major amounts of databases grows smaller, it creates a smaller marketplace.

So, here’s the question for the thread: should librarians be concerned about this merger? Or is it just business as usual in the (relatively) free market? What should the profession be looking for when library vendors buy out or merge with their competition?

Reminder: this is an open thread. You can take the suggested topic or toss out something else on your mind. Anonymous posts are still accepted.

6 thoughts on “Open Thread Thursday: Advance Token to GO

  1. How free is the market if it is essentially run by one or two companies. Our choice is to either not serve the public in ways it has become accustomed to, or deplete our budgets further to the point that we can do little but buy databases. The public’s demand for resources it can use without coming to the library is higher than ever, but our resources to purchase access continue to decrease.

    • I see your point. I just wonder if it could be the product of a small niche market. You’re not going to see companies clamoring to get into certain sectors of the library market. Some of these are relatively small, ya know.

      Of course, my point is moot since the amount of people affected by this merger is quite large (in the scale of libraries, that is).

  2. Ugh. Every time they acquire something else, I feel like I’m more a part of the “collective.” But their products work so well, and our students like them so much, it’s hard to say no. I can’t remember a time when they purchased or merged and made the product worse– it’s always better. Unlike some other vendors *cough* proquest *cough*

    Plus Ebsco’s entire marketing seems to be based on “what competitors could you drop so you could afford something of ours.” It makes me a little queasy, but I’m complicit in it, because I feel like I have to bring our students the best value possible with the money we have.

    • Well, I think that tactic acknowledges that the library budget pie is limited. I can understand and appreciate that, even if it seems a bit devious.

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