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Information Access Alliance Releases White Paper and Launches WebSite

Of possible interest to readers of this list.

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 28 Jul 2003 14:38:50 -0400
From: Judith Matz <judith@arl.org>
To: Activities and Programs of ARL <ARL-ANNOUNCE@arl.org>
Subject: [ARL-ANNOUNCE] Information Access Alliance Releases White Paper
    and Launches Web Site

For Immediate Release
July 28, 2003

For more information, contact:
Dawn Boeckermann, Metropolitan Group
(503) 223-3299 or dboeckermann@metgroup.com


Washington, D.C.: The Information Access Alliance, a coalition of six
leading library organizations in North America, has published a white
paper that examines the impact of mergers among scholarly and legal
publishers and calls for a new standard of antitrust review of merger
transactions in this industry by antitrust enforcement agencies

The Information Access Alliance represents institutions engaged in
research, education, law, and health care. The coalition is urging the
U.S. Department of Justice to block Cinven and Candover�s proposed
purchase of BertelsmannSpringer, the academic publishing arm of
Bertelsmann AG. The Alliance is concerned that this transaction will
result in reduced access to critical research information.

Publisher Mergers: A Consumer-Based Approach to Antitrust Analysis, the
white paper commissioned by the Alliance and written by Thomas M. Susman
and David J. Carter of the law firm Ropes & Gray LLP, describes the issues
that have emerged as the serials publishing industry has become
increasingly concentrated. BertelsmannSpringer publishes approximately 700
science, technology, and medical (STM) journals. Kluwer Academic
Publishers, which Cinven and Candover recently acquired and have indicated
they intend to merge with BertelsmannSpringer, also publishes
approximately 700 STM journals. The two companies combined would control
approximately 20% of the STM market. Libraries are the primary market for
STM journals. Over the past 20 years, the prices libraries pay for
journals have risen at three times the rate of inflation. Recent studies
have shown that merger activity has been a significant factor in this
inflation. The emergence of electronic publishing and the Internet, rather
than solving the problem, may actually be contributing to the
concentration of market power in the hands of a few large publishers,
according to the white paper.

The Alliance has also launched a Web site,
<http://www.informationaccess.org>, containing information on the impact
of publisher mergers on the market for STM journals, links to the
above-mentioned white paper, and other key documents.Information Access
Alliance member organizations:

The American Association of Law Libraries (AALL) is a nonprofit
educational organization dedicated to providing leadership and advocacy in
the field of legal information and information policy. Our more than 5,000
members respond to the legal information needs of legislators, judges and
other public officials, corporations and small businesses, law professors
and students, attorneys, and members of the general public.

The American Library Association (ALA), the oldest and largest library
association in the world, is a nonprofit organization of over 64,000
librarians, library trustees, and other friends of libraries dedicated to
the development, promotion, and improvement of library and information
services to enhance learning and ensure access to information for all.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of
the American Library Association, is a professional association of
academic librarians and other interested individuals. ACRL currently has a
membership of approximately 12,400, accounting for nearly 20% of the total
ALA membership. ACRL provides a broad range of professional services and
programs for a diverse membership.

The Association of Research Libraries (ARL) is a nonprofit organization of
124 research libraries in North America. ARL programs and services promote
equitable access to and effective use of recorded knowledge in support of
teaching, research, scholarship, and community service.

The Medical Library Association (MLA) is a nonprofit, educational
organization of more than 900 institutions and 3,800 individual members in
the health sciences information field, committed to educating health
information professionals, supporting health information research,
promoting access to the world�s health sciences information, and working
to ensure that the best health information is available to all.

SPARC (Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition) is an
initiative of universities, research libraries, and library organizations
that supports increased competition in scholarly publishing. SPARC
publishing partnerships and educational activities encourage expanded
dissemination of research and reduced financial pressure on libraries. Its
worldwide membership currently includes 277 institutions and
organizations, with 188 members in the United States.

Judith Matz
Communications Officer
Association of Research Libraries
21 Dupont Circle, NW  #800
Washington, DC  20036-1118
Phone  202-296-2296
Fax  202-872-0884