The legal publishing industry has been in a state of continuous consolidation for the past 30 years. Here is your chance to vote on the best and the worst legal product acquisitions and company mergers.

Click HERE to vote for the best and the worst legal publishing mergers.  Voting will close on Sept. 23rd.

Defining Success or Failure? The recent announcement of Bloomberg’s proposed acquisition of BNA has caused me to reflect back on the many mergers, takeovers and consolidations which I have witnessed during my career. The success or failure of these mergers and acquisitions are ultimately assessed by a variety of factors including whether the product is improved or is impaired, whether the culture and “good will” of the publisher and it’s representatives are enhanced or diminished or whether the product is positively enhanced through transformative reengineering or obliterated by neglect or misguided re-design.

The Yin and the Yang of Mergers. Although the biggest downside of these mergers from the consumer perspective has been widely recognized as diminished competition which leads to higher prices, it is now apparent that both technology and shifting law firm economics are likely to have winnowed the field of smaller legal publishers over time. The obvious conclusion is that recent decades of mergers may have in the end saved some really good products from oblivion.

The Big Picture. For your edification I am including an interesting graphic prepared by Sarah Glasssmeyer which illustrates the consolidation of legal publishing.

This is not a scientific survey – but I still think the results will be informative.  I selected a sampling of legal publishing mergers and acquisitions and focused on those that had transformative potential for the companies and products involved. I invite you to vote for the best and the worst mergers and acquisitions and provide a comment of why it was good or bad. I will summarize and report the findings in a follow-up post.