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'A wordwide brand'

4 December 2006

Academic publishing is poised awkwardly between the huge costs of the web and its enormous potential, and between the huge opportunities created by global English and the piracy that a single language facilitates. In such an environment a worldwide brand is greater than the sum of its parts, and if Wiley can build that, the deal will have been more than worthwhile. Others are thinking along similar lines: witness Springer's recent approach to Informa.

The world is awash with cheap cash and bullish private equity investors: 2006 is on track to be the biggest year for corporate deals in history, and it would be odd if publishing was to be immune from this frenzy. Academic publishing may not look particularly sexy, but in a richer, better-educated world it is no bad place to be.