The Dutch-based library and subscriptions service agency SWETS Information Services, which serves (or at least used to serve) many of the UK and Europe’s law firms with periodicals subscription management services, has filed for bankruptcy. The bankruptcy petition includes the Dutch parent company as well as SWETS subsidiary companies in the UK, across Europe, Japan and Australia. A copy of the filings are attached. Notice in the Bankruptcy of Swets Information Services B.V. of 23 October 2014 (EC)
COMMENT: The Insider used to deal with SWETS but we have to say that in recent years their service became frankly more trouble than it was worth in terms of subscription revenues (agencies like SWETS deduct a commission from subscription sales) versus the hassle of contending with their administration. We have also noticed an increased trend for law firm libraries bringing subscription management back in house and dropping their subscription agencies (there are are several other agencies in the legal market besides SWETS). Ultimately the migration from paper periodicals to online/digital is probably the killer factor for agencies like SWETS, where their services were increasingly a hinderance rather than a benefit and ripe for disintermediation.