On July 28, 2010, SkyRiver Technology Solutions joined with Innovative Interfaces to file suit in San Francisco federal court against OCLC Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) alleging numerous anticompetitive business practices and antitrust violations.
SkyRiver, a bibliographic services company, and Innovative Interfaces, a library automation company, claim that OCLC is “unlawfully monopolizing the bibliographic data, cataloguing service and interlibrary lending markets and is attempting to monopolize the market for integrated library systems by anticompetitive and exclusionary agreements, policies and practices.” (p. 1) The outcome of the lawsuit could have significant impact on the library software and technology services industry by opening up OCLC’s services, such as WorldCat, to use by commercial competitors.
At this time, it cannot be emphasized strongly enough that it is still too early to predict any resolution of the case, as OCLC has not yet had an opportunity to respond to the plaintiffs’ complaint. Unless the parties come to a settlement, the litigation of a complex antitrust suit could take years.
This summary of the lawsuit (PDF) is solely descriptive, attempting only to provide a synopsis of the legal positions taken thus far. It may be some time before OCLC’s response provides an alternative legal perspective concerning the allegations presented in this lawsuit. This summary is not an analysis of the legal merits of the suit, nor has ARL taken a position on this lawsuit.