ATG Article of the Week: Resistance is Futile

Resistance is Futile is a guest post by Jeff Kosokoff that appears on Kevin Smith’s Scholarly Communications @ Duke website. Jeff is the Head of Collection Strategy & Development for the Duke University Libraries and he has a lot to say about the recent EBSCO purchase of YBP from Baker & Taylor – and it’s well worth reading.

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After noting his initial shock, Jeff admits that the deal wasn’t particularly surprising. YBP was having financial trouble and EBSCO was an obvious suitor. As Jeff points out, EBSCO aspires to be “the closest thing we have to a soup-to-nuts library information content and services vendor” and the purchase of one of the few remaining comprehensive book jobbers makes perfect sense for them. Jeff even traces EBSCO’s impressive growth and development over the last 20 years that has led them to this point. They seem well positioned to successfully add YBP to their family of library services and systems.

However, there may be some drawbacks to the deal and Jeff helps focus on a few by raising relevant questions like:

  • Not Enough Competition?
  • Too Big/Monolithic To Fail?
  • Can a wholly-owned subsidiary really remain agnostic?
  • Can we learn anything from EBSCO’s past behavior?

Naturally, he provides some answers of his own but you’ll need to read the article to get the full story.

After you do, let us know what you think. Do we need to be concerned about the “consolidation and further amalgamation in the library information services market” that deals like this represent? Or are the resulting streamlining and operational efficiencies more important?

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