It is now old news that Clarivate is acquiring ProQuest. According to Marydee Ojala, Claravite can trace its roots to 1864 (Zoological Record) and ProQuest to 1938 (UMI). Marshall Breeding notes that this deal is worth $5.3 billion. Because Clarivate and ProQuest do not have overlapping products, this does not decrease the competition.
Below is ProQuest's acquisition activity from Library Technology Guides. This does not capture, for example, Dialog's history of being acquired by other companies, so the landscape is even more complex.
People have different opinions about whether this is good or bad for libraries. Having lived through library vendors' mergers and acquisitions (M&A) since the late 1980s, I know that these do eliminate jobs, provide fewer vendors to have booths at library conferences, and can put important decisions in the hands of fewer people. I wonder how these M&A's impact:
- the diversity of who works for one of these companies
- the diversity of thought and problem-solving approaches in the companies
- how welcoming these larger companies are to new and perhaps radical ideas
BTW I suspect that Clarivate's workers are more diverse than its leadership, based on the photos of its executive team and the location of its regional offices.
Think I'll pour myself a cup of tea and stroll down memory lane as I stare at the chart below...If you have thoughts on this, please leave a comment and share them. Thank you!