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What Are the Larger Implications of Ex Libris Buying Innovative?

Ithaka S+R: “Earlier [on December 5, 2019], news began leaking out that Ex Libris will purchase Innovative Interfaces, one of its largest competitors. The deal, which is expected to close in early 2020, further cements Ex Libris as the leader in the library systems marketplace and can be expected to put added pressure on OCLC. It will also raise concerns about Ex Libris’s dominant market position. Ex Libris’s core business is in library systems, including its flagship cloud-based platform Alma. Ex Libris’s strengths have been in higher education globally, and in recent years it has been moving into adjacent spaces such as supporting course readings and the research enterprise (in the latter area, S+R provided them with some facilitation and advisory services earlier this year). Ex Libris is owned by ProQuest, which has a variety of content businesses, including aggregations of journals, books, theses, and primary source material, with an audience quite a bit larger than higher education.  Innovative provides a number of library systems, currently marketing both Sierra and Polaris. Its strengths have been with public, special, and smaller academic libraries. This sale represents an exit for its private equity owners…”

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