Washington — Wednesday afternoon, Clarivate, a leading research analytics company, announced its successful acquisition of ProQuest, one of the largest content and library technology providers. The merger, which follows review by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), increases concerns over the negative impacts that continued consolidation across the research enterprise will have on the academic community.
SPARC filed a detailed antitrust brief with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in October, which outlined extensive antitrust concerns with the merger and within the broader research analytics and library services platform markets.
Heather Joseph, Executive Director of SPARC, issued the following statement in response to the merger's completion:
"This outcome is deeply disappointing. The merger pushes this market to the brink of a monopoly and tilts control of the research ecosystem further toward the largest commercial players—and away from the best interests of the research community. The result will be fewer options—and ultimately, higher prices—for libraries.
"While the FTC declined to block this merger, it must not be the end of antitrust investigations into these critical markets. It should be of utmost national concern that the research enterprise is dominated by an increasingly small number of firms with extraordinary market power who control vast swaths of our digital infrastructure. We urge the FTC to closely monitor the impact of the merger and actively reassess the need for intervention as new information emerges."
To arrange an interview with Heather Joseph, contact Lese Fandel at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-630-5090.
SPARC is a global advocacy organization working to make research and education open and equitable by design. Representing more than 240 academic and research library members, SPARC's work is built on the premise that sharing knowledge is a fundamental human right. As a catalyst for action, SPARC works at the local, national and international level to change policies, educate and activate stakeholders, and incubate projects that advance a world where everyone can fully participate in research and education systems. Learn more at sparcopen.org.