Law Lib Blog Article:Abercrombie and Fitch of the Legal Publishing World

Worth a quick read if you have time.. references an article about West that appeared last week in the Minneapolis News

Here’s the introduction ….

The Abercrombie and Fitch of the Legal Publishing World: Profile of West Publishing Company

Citypages (Minneapolis) profiles West Publishing in an ever so uncritical chamber-of-commerce success story way in Westlaw Rises to Legal Publishing Fame by Selling Free Information. But the detail-rich article is recommended reading and does report some interesting information, some of it known, some estimated by legal information professionals:
West makes its money by selling free, public information—specifically, court documents—to lawyers. On this simple model, the company raked in $3.5 billion in revenue last year, placing it on a par, sales-wise, with retail giant Abercrombie and Fitch. But its operating profit margin really impresses: At a whopping 32.1 percent, West outpaces that of tech giants like Google (19.4 percent), Amazon (3.4 percent), and eBay (20.8 percent).

From 1996 to 2005, the price for initial editions of Thomson’s legal books went up about 4.5 percent each year—just slightly above the increase in inflation, and comparable to LexisNexis’s 4.2 percent annual increase for similar materials.

Full article at