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

Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

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.

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
BBC goes offline in MASSIVE COCKUP: Stephen Fry partly muzzled
Auntie tight-lipped as major outage rolls on
Nadella: Apps must run on ALL WINDOWS – PCs, slabs and mobes
Phone egg, meet desktop chicken - your mother
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Samsung threatens to cut ties with supplier over child labour allegations
Vows to uphold 'zero tolerance' policy on underage workers
Dude, you're getting a Dell – with BITCOIN: IT giant slurps cryptocash
1. Buy PC with Bitcoin. 2. Mine more coins. 3. Goto step 1
There's NOTHING on TV in Europe – American video DOMINATES
Even France's mega subsidies don't stop US content onslaught
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.