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online information market achieves steady growth

Despite the depressed state of much of the online economy, there is one bright spot amid the doom and gloom of the ecommerce
sector: the online information market continues to grow steadily.

New research just released reveals that the value of the European online information market grew by 4 per cent in 2000 to an
estimated £928 million, although the rate of annual growth has been falling in recent years. Market growth in 2001 and 2002 is
forecast to remain at the 2000 rate.

The research, commissioned by Learned Information Europe Ltd and conducted by IRN Services Ltd, shows that business information
– news, company, and market research data – contributed the overwhelming share of revenues with 77.4 per cent of the total market.
Scientific and technical information accounted for the remaining 22.6 per cent.

In 2000, the share of sales for news information fell considerably as news became a commodity on the web, while market research
sales rose significantly as an increasing number of publishers developed ecommerce sites.

Consolidation has been an important feature of the industry in 2000, creating three major business information vendors – Thomson
Corporation, LexisNexis and Factiva, with Thomson increasing its share significantly through acquisitions.

“One of the surprises of the report,” said Katherine Allen, Event Director for Learned Information, “is the fact that while we’ve all been
aware of consolidation in the industry, no single player yet dominates the general online business information or scientific information

National markets across Europe show clear differences. The German market is relatively stable and mature with national players
taking a significant market share. In contrast, the market in France is much more fragmented with few national players competing
directly with the leading international vendors.

Key factors impacting on the market in the short term as identified in the report include:

- more end-user searching;

- the transformation of aggregators into information solutions companies offering intranet and portal advice and consultancy;

- a continued limit on the growth of information budgets.

David Mort, Director of survey company IRN Services commented: "The survey shows that free services are continuing to have a
negative impact on the use of fee-based services, so the leading providers are looking to move into the broader information solutions
space. The goal is to be a one-stop shop for clients covering technology, content and consultancy, and more mergers and
acquisitions can be expected as the leading vendors look to buy the necessary expertise".

Learned Information are the organisers of Online Information 2001 which this year celebrates its 25th year and is the largest show of
its kind in the world, bringing together the best minds in the industry with the companies that are at the forefront of the latest
technological developments.

There are expected to be over 350 exhibitors at the event with around 15,600 visitors.

Speakers will be flying in from around the world to discuss a wide variety of contemporary issues that will be of interest to both visitors
and participants alike.

The full results of the survey are published in the European Online Information Market 2000 report. The report covers two markets:
business information and scientific information, and was published in May 2001. The full report is available from Learned Information
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