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IMPACT: Events and developments in the information services market

On 19 April the Commission of the European Communities approved a Communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee presenting the 1991 annual report on the main events and developments to have taken place in the Community's electronic...

On 19 April the Commission of the European Communities approved a Communication to the Council, the European Parliament and the Economic and Social Committee presenting the 1991 annual report on the main events and developments to have taken place in the Community's electronic information services market. In the context of the Community IMPACT programme for the establishment of an internal information market, the report reviews developments in the following sectors: - Online ASCII database services; - Videotex services; - CD-ROM publishing; - Fax based and audiotex services. In particular, three important new trends are revealed: - Evidence from both supply and demand side indicators collected by the EC Information Market Observatory points to a slow-down in the rate of growth of international markets for online information, beginning in the second half of 1991. Recessionary pressures in the global economy appear to have depressed demand in the Community, North American and Japanese markets; - Inter-EC trade in online ASCII databases was the fastest growing market segment between 1989 and 1990 with a growth rate of 26.1%, while exports to destinations outside the Community grew by only 6.0%; - Merger and acquisition activity is a significant force in the European information market as industry actors seek to integrate information production and distribution activities. The number of vendors active in the European market is gradually declining and is predicted to fall from 7,000 firms in 1991 to 5,500 by 1995.

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