FTC Closes Investigation of Compass Lexecon Client Ex Libris’ Acquisition of Innovative Interfaces Inc.

In December 2019, Ex Libris, a ProQuest Company, signed an agreement to acquire Innovative Interfaces Inc., a leading provider of integrated library systems for public, academic, and other types of libraries.

Dr. Mark Israel and Compass Lexecon assisted the parties during all phases of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC’s) investigation of the transaction. Compass Lexecon conducted an in-depth analysis of the likely competitive effects of the acquisition, demonstrating that it would not harm competition, but rather would create pro-competitive benefits. Among other things, this analysis quantified the de minimis extent of head-to-head competition between Ex Libris and Innovative, as well as the effect of recent industry trends – including the recent decline of Innovative – on the evaluation of competitive effects. Dr. Israel presented his work to the FTC first in March 2019, and then in several subsequent follow-up meetings and submissions. The FTC closed its investigation, allowing the acquisition to proceed unchallenged, in October 2020.

Dr. Israel was supported by a team led by Chris Rybak and Matt Schmitt, which also included Carlos Paez, John Campbell, Siyi Chen, Jai Choudhari, Chris He, Anisa Kabir, and Aaron Wolfe. Compass Lexecon worked closely with Nathaniel L. Asker and Aleksandr B. Livshits of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver & Jacobson LLP, and Arthur J. Burke, Jon Leibowitz, and Suzanne Munck of Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP.