Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Blackboard, Angel, and Anti-Trust

There's a lot of discussion on our campus concerning Blackboard's acquisition of Angel (we are an Angel school). I'm a bit surprised that there hasn't been more interest from regulators, whether it's over anti-competitive practices or a potential monopoly. what those who "know more" tell me is that Blackboard can point to the availability of open source LMSs such as Moodle or Sakai to bolster their argument that they're not a monopoly and that their acquisition of Angel is not anti-competitive. I'm not convinced.
Justice Department Looks Into Blackboard's Angel Acquisition
The United States Department of Justice is apparently taking an interest in Blackboard's recent acquisition of Angel Learning. DOJ has been asking questions about the controversial buyout, according to Blackboard's chief rival in the commercial LMS space, Desire2Learn.

Blackboard bought Angel Learning this month for $95 million in cash and stock. Although Blackboard promised ongoing support and development for Angel customers, the announcement was met with considerable concern from the Angel user community--ranging from mere nervousness about competition in the market to outright anger. (Some comments can be viewed here.)
photo via MikeLeSombre

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