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ICSTI: No investigation of STM journals by the UK office of fair trading (OFT)

  • To: Multiple recipients of list <epc-l@iucr.org>
  • Subject: ICSTI: No investigation of STM journals by the UK office of fair trading (OFT)
  • From: Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org> (by way of Pete Strickland <ps@iucr.org>)
  • Date: Tue, 24 Sep 2002 16:44:13 +0100 (BST)
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Date:         Thu, 12 Sep 2002 15:47:45 +0100
Reply-To: mahons1@EIRCOM.NET
From: Barry Mahon <mahons1@EIRCOM.NET>
Subject:      No investigation of STM journals by the UK office of fair
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I am indebted to the September 98 Forum list for this information:

The London Financial Times (FT) reports the decision by the Office of Fair
Trading (OFT) not to launch a formal investigation into the STM journals
 market, even though that market might "not be working well".

The FT's Lombard column says that "this is a pretty good outcome for Reed
Elsevier and its rivals in this cosy market niche; but wonders why shares in
 Reed Elsevier fell on the news. Reed has been telling analysts that the
 report was a "non-event", even though some of the OFT's conclusions were
 pretty damning"

URL for the Financial Times piece:

In the September 98 list the following was a comment:-

Interesting also to note that one of the reasons the UK Office of Fair
 Trading decided not to investigate the market for scientific journals is
 that 'electronic delivery might allow academics to bypass the commercial
 companies'. Does the OFT, or Reed Elsevier shareholders, know something we
 don't? The evidence cited in this respect is SPARC, arXiv, ELSSS (has it
 published any journals?) and Berkeley Electronic Press.

The OFT's view and the full report are at:


Barry Mahon



Best wishes

Peter Strickland
Managing Editor
IUCr Journals

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