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Reed Elsevier's acquisition of Jordans to be investigated

The competition authority has warned that the acquisition could lead to 'higher prices or a reduction in choice'

11 September 2015

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The Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA) will refer Reed Elsevier's (trading as LexisNexis) acquisition of Jordans Publishing Ltd for an in-depth investigation unless 'acceptable undertakings' are taken.

Reed Elsevier and Jordans both publish legal information such as textbooks, journals and court references in the family law practice areas of children law, matrimonial property law and family court reports.

The CMA's concerns stem from the fact that Reed Elsevier and Jordans occupy a very niche market with few other competitors.

Sheldon Mills, CMA senior director of mergers, feels that as a result of the acquisition, legal practitioners will be left with the prospect of higher prices and fewer choices.

'Our investigation has found that Jordans and Reed Elsevier supply the pre-eminent legal publications in the area of family law in England and Wales.

'The loss of competition between these two publishers in this area could lead to higher prices or a reduction in choice and quality in the provision of information in an important area of the law,' Mills warned.

He added: 'As such, this merger warrants a detailed investigation unless the parties are able to resolve the concerns we identified at this stage.'

The CMA also looked into the supply of legal information in other practice areas that both companies occupy, but found no further competition concerns.


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