Consumer watchdog interested in Turnitin takeover plan

Contract cheating catcher Turnitin LLC wants to acquire another anti-plagiarism software provider

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is taken an interest in the proposed purchase of Sweden headquartered Ouriginal Group and wants to hear from consumers and competitors on issues including;

* the supply of anti-plagiarism software “and how it interacts with learning management systems”

* products on the market that meet needs

* the ease/difficulty of switching suppliers of anti-plagiarism software

* barriers to entry/expansion in the supply of anti-plagiarism software

* the impact on “prices, quality or service levels” if the acquisition occurred.

Details from the ACCC are here .

Ouriginal has some Australian clients but is big in northern Europe (perhaps kept busy checking German politicians’ doctoral dissertations). However, the ACCC concern is in-line with its interest in education providers and suppliers.

At Christmas 2019, it announced an inquiry into a proposed merger of textbook publishers Cengage and McGraw Hill. The commission suggested, education publishing in Australia was highly concentrated with “high barriers” to entry and expansion and that “the proposed merger would substantially lessen competition.”

The publishers called off the global deal in May 2020.