The acquisition of Innovative Interfaces by ProQuest, announced in December 2019, is one of the major events in the history of the library technology industry. The deal in which ProQuest purchased Innovative from its previous investors, HCCG and JMI Equity, closed on January 16, 2020. Innovative has become a wholly owned subsidiary of ProQuest, with Yariv Kursh in place as general manager.
This transaction has attracted the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, which has initiated a review of the impact of the acquisition on the competitive environment. No specific timeframe has been given on the review, nor can any outcomes be predicted until it is concluded.
The FTC notified ProQuest of the review in February 2020. While the investigation is currently non-public, it is not considered confidential. ProQuest issued a blog post and a statement of Frequently Asked Questions acknowledging the review and its response.3 In those statements, ProQuest reports its full cooperation with the inquiry and reiterates that all the Ex Libris and Innovative products will continue to be developed and supported according to previously stated roadmaps.
The main implication of the FTC review is that Innovative will be operated as an independent subsidiary with no intermingling of its staff or resources with that of ProQuest or Ex Libris. Innovative will work with Ex Libris as it would any other business partner. In its development of new discovery solutions, for example, Innovative can partner with Ex Libris for integration of Summon in a similar way that it has previously work with EBSCO Information Services.
The January 2020 issue of Smart Libraries Newsletter featured the acquisition of Innovative by ProQuest based on information and analysis current at that time. Expect coverage in future issues on additional developments, including any that arise out of the FTC review.