News is breaking in Sweden that America’s OverDrive has out-tendered domestic rival Axiell to become the primary ebook distributor for Sweden’s public libraries.
Axiell bought out former market leader Elib in 2015 and seemed in an unbeatable position, but didn’t reckon on Rakuten’s growing hunger for the international ebook markets, which offered a “significantly cheaper” tender that will mean OverDrive is not only the foremost distributor of Swedish ebooks to Sweden’s public library system but will also be bringing its international catalogue to the table.
A total of 980 municipalities, county councils and municipalities have the right to use SKL Kommentus procurement.
Christian Nilsson, in charge of procurement at SKL Kommentus, said,
I hope that this procurement will lead to increased competition in the market and, on the other hand, improved opportunities for borrowers to borrow e-literature.
OverDrive is no stranger to Sweden, as it is already a supplier to Malmö City Library.
According to Svenskbokhandel Christian Nilsson estimates that the value of the procurement is about five million kronor ($560,000) a year.
Details have yet to be decided on just which lending model will be operational, but clearly this move by Rakuten puts both OverDrive and sister company Kobo in a strong position to expand interests further in the Scandinavian arena.