Feeds

Microsoft bidding for Euro publishing giant?

If Bill's looking for content he obviously hasn't read Farmer's Weekly

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

The essential guide to IT transformation

Rumours earlier in the week that the Anglo-Dutch Reed Elsevier, publisher of Computer Weekly and owner of the Lexis-Nexis database, was about to be bought by Microsoft were strongly denied here yesterday by Fokko Covers, Reed Elsevier's European Finance Director. On the Amsterdam Beurs, the shares fell back NLG 0.60 to 29.70 (two per cent) after a ten per cent gain Monday and Tuesday. In May 1997 Reed Elsevier signed a $30 million, five-year deal for Microsoft software, one result of which was the replacement of NetWare by NT in the London HQ. Last October's attempt by Reed Elsevier to merge with Dutch publisher Wolters Kluwer to create a $30 billion company failed in March, largely because of competition law concerns in Europe. The result was some uncertainty about the future management of the group, in which Reed and Elsevier both have 50 per cent. Microsoft's interest in publishers is generally viewed as a quest for content, but its experiences so far haven't been good. Gates wanted to make an investment in Dorling Kindersley, the London publisher specialising in illustrated books and multimedia, and tried to buy the company in 1992. Following a period of collaboration on CD-ROM products, independence from Microsoft was more highly valued by DK, so some 30 per cent of the company was floated in October 1992. Microsoft acquired around 25 per cent before losing interest and treating DK as a picture library. Slate, Microsoft's would-be literary e-zine, edited by Michael Kinsley (formerly editor of the New Republic, and a failed candidate for the editorship of the New Yorker recently) is very far from breaking even -- and Microsoft did not distinguish itself by failing to get a billing system working for it. Microsoft Press has been a fair success -- it could hardly fail, given its exclusive access to Microsoft documentation. But so far as a deal with Reed Elsevier is concerned, Dutch company law would make the probability of any bid being successful quite remote. An unnamed Dow Jones source was quoted yesterday as saying that Reed Elsevier and Microsoft are in discussion about a mega deal. If there is any truth at all in a closer relationship being established, our money is on it having something to do with the viagrafication of MSN in Europe, and just possibly a deal for Reed Elsevier to help improve Microsoft Press sales. ® Click for more stories.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.