eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Acquisitions: Industry Consolidation Continues


If you think there have been a lot of acquisitions in the eDiscovery industry, you’re right.  Now, thanks to Rob Robinson and his Complex Discovery blog, you can get a sense of just how many acquisitions there have been.  Rob has provided a post showing 10 Years of eDiscovery Mergers, Acquisitions and Investments.

While Rob acknowledges that it’s a “non-comprehensive overview” of “key and publicly announced eDiscovery related mergers, acquisitions and investments since 2002”, he does provide 133 of them in the list – dating all the way back to April of 2002 when Kroll and Ontrack became one company.  For each, he provides the announcement date, acquired company, acquiring or investing company and acquisition amount (if known).  The early years (2002-2005) only have ten entries total, so there could certainly (and understandably) be some early years acquisitions unaccounted for.  Nonetheless, a few observations:

  • Since the beginning of 2010, there have been at least 79 mergers, acquisitions and investments (over half the list).  There have been 5 acquisitions (and one investment) since the beginning of August alone.
  • What is the largest acquisition on the list (based on those that show reported acquisition amounts)?  If you said the HP acquisition of Autonomy in August of last year ($11.7 billion), you’d be wrong.  The largest acquisition on the list is Symantec’s purchase of Veritas software way back in December of 2004 ($13.5 billion).  Veritas had made its own acquisition of KVS less than 10 months earlier.
  • The company with the most acquisitions on the list is Huron, with 6 acquisitions.  Close on their heels is Symantec (5 acquisitions), LexisNexis (4 acquisitions), Thomson Reuters (4 acquisitions, when they acquired LiveNote back in 2006, they were still known as Thomson) and Autonomy (4 acquisitions, then acquired themselves by HP last year).
  • Just because you’ve been acquired once doesn’t mean you can’t be acquired again.  Applied Discovery, Black Letter Discovery, CaseLogistix, CT Summation and Kroll were all acquired twice during this span and Daticon was acquired three times!
  • Think a major, long term software company can’t be acquired?  Two products that have been around for decades, Summation and Concordance, have each been acquired in the past decade – Summation twice (by Wolters Kluwer in 2004 and AccessData in 2010).
  • Think that eDiscovery is only for specialized companies?  Think again.  Heavyweights such as HP (3 acquisitions), Computer Associates (3 acquisitions), IBM (2 acquisitions), Deloitte (2 acquisitions) and Microsoft (1 acquisition) all acquired eDiscovery companies over the last 10 years.

Thanks, Rob, for such an informative compilation of eDiscovery acquisitions, mergers and investments!

So, what do you think?  Do you think eDiscovery consolidation will continue at this pace?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.