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Weekly News Digest

January 29, 2001 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITI’s Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

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West Group Acquires FindLaw

West Group (http://www.westgroup.com), a division of The Thomson Corporation, has announced the acquisition of FindLaw (http://findlaw.com), a pioneer in free online legal information and services and reportedly the Web's most highly trafficked legal portal. The acquisition gives West Group, the provider of content and solutions to the legal marketplace, an expanded presence on the Web for serving legal professionals and their clients, and provides FindLaw with the resources for continuing the development and expansion of its content and services. The terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

Mike Wilens, West Group president, said FindLaw will operate as an independent subsidiary of West Group and will maintain its operations in Mountain View, California, in the heart of Silicon Valley. FindLaw co-founders Stacey Stern and Tim Stanley will remain in their roles, as will other key technology, marketing, and publishing managers.

"Our plan is simple: We're going to build on the formula that made FindLaw what it is," said Wilens. "Everything that exists on FindLaw today—from case law to career services and Continuing Legal Education will remain. And we'll invest in the content and services to make the site even more powerful in the future." Wilens did not specify if the content on FindLaw would continue to be offered free.

Source: West Group

[Editor's Note: The acquisition continues the trend of consolidation in the information marketplace and for premium-priced services to buy up popular Web portals. In December 2000, Wolters Kluwer nv (http://www.wolterskluwer.com), the Dutch publisher and information services company, announced it was buying Loislaw.com, Inc. (http://www.loislaw.com), a U.S.-based online provider of primary and secondary source material for legal research that is delivered on a subscription basis over the Internet. (See the Weekly News Digest story at http://newsbreaks.infotoday.com/wndReader.asp?ArticleId=17686.) In November 2000, Lexis-Nexis, the key competitor to West, announced a strategic alliance and investment in LawCommerce.com. The legal portal, Law.com, which absorbed Counsel Quest, remains privately held by an investment fund.—PJH]



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