September 30, 2014

III Drops OCLC Suit, Will Absorb SkyRiver

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Innovative Interfaces will drop its ongoing antitrust suit against OCLC, the company announced today.

The company also announced that all operations of its sister company SkyRiver Technology Solutions will be integrated into Innovative, and the SkyRiver cataloging service will become part of Innovative’s product suite. According to Tom Jacobson, Innovative’s Director of Resource Sharing, Leslie Straus, former president of SkyRiver, is no longer with the company.

Innovative’s move follows founder Jerry Kline’s selling off his remaining interest in both companies last month to private equity firms Huntsman Gay Global Capital and JMI Equity, which first invested in the companies in March 2012. Kline also stepped down from the board, and Steve Young, senior partner of Huntsman Gay, was named chair. Neil Block, formerly president of Innovative, joined Polaris on January 22.

In February, Innovative spokesperson Gene Shimshock told LJ that the news would have “no impact” on the litigation against OCLC, a position the company seems to have reexamined quickly.

“We decided to view a relationship with OCLC as a potential collaboration partner, unclouded by legal issues,” said Kim Massana, Innovative’s CEO. “We are looking forward to competing with OCLC in the market for library technology services, including in the areas of cataloging and library service platforms. At the same time, we are excited to refocus our efforts to engage with OCLC management and our common accounts to help libraries meet the unprecedented information and technology challenges in today’s environment.”

Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO, said in a statement, “We applaud the decision of the new owners of Innovative Interfaces and SkyRiver Technology Solutions and CEO Kim Massana to withdraw the claims against OCLC. We look forward to possible future engagement with Innovative where it benefits libraries.”—Meredith Schwartz, News Editor, LJ

From III:

Innovative Interfaces announced today that all operations of sister company SkyRiver Technology Solutions, Inc. will be integrated into Innovative and that the SkyRiver cataloging service will become part of Innovative’s product suite. In addition, Innovative has decided to withdraw the claims of the antitrust suit filed in 2010 and currently pending in federal court in Ohio.

“With the best interests of the library community in mind, we decided to view a relationship with OCLC as a potential collaboration partner, unclouded by legal issues,” said Kim Massana, Innovative’s Chief Executive Officer. “We are looking forward to competing with OCLC in the market for library technology services, including in the areas of cataloging and library service platforms. At the same time, we are excited to refocus our efforts to engage with OCLC management and our common accounts to help libraries meet the unprecedented information and technology challenges in today’s environment.”

Massana continued, “All of us at Innovative believe that competition in technology services benefits libraries and drives innovation. We have a great product in SkyRiver and anticipate that by putting the whole weight of Innovative behind the development and implementation of the system, we will become an even stronger player in the market for library cataloging services going forward.”

Read the Complete Statement from III

Update 1: Here’s a Statement From OCLC

Jay Jordan, OCLC President and CEO, has issued the following statement on the withdrawal today of a lawsuit filed in 2010 by Innovative Interfaces and SkyRiver Technology Solutions:

“We applaud the decision of the new owners of Innovative Interfaces and SkyRiver Technology Solutions and CEO Kim Massana to withdraw the claims against OCLC. We look forward to possible future engagement with Innovative where it benefits libraries. We work with many library service providers to provide greater value at reduced costs to libraries around the world.

Inclusion, reciprocity, trust and the highest standard of ethical conduct have guided the OCLC cooperative in the past and will guide us in the future. As always, OCLC’s public purposes of furthering access to the world’s information and reducing the rate of rise of library costs remain paramount.”

See Also: SkyRiver and Innovative Interfaces File Major Antitrust Lawsuit Against OCLC (via LJ; June 29, 2010)

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.