I was joking around with Sarah Glassmeyer on Twitter yesterday that the graph she did on Thomson Reuters acquisitions would explode if she added in all the mega-company acquisitions from 2010. Although today’s news about TR becoming the primary printing and binding shop for the American Bar Association isn’t exactly an acquisition, it does louden that sucking sound that represents the legal publishing world.

“With this new printing arrangement with Thomson Reuters, we’re able to better manage the production and delivery of our books,” said Bryan Kay, director, ABA Publishing. “We can more efficiently produce and grow the list of high-quality publications, covering a broad range of topics that the legal profession counts on from the ABA.”
Printing and manufacturing services for the ABA’s publications will be performed at Thomson Reuters’ 1.3 million-square-foot manufacturing, distribution and engineering facilities headquarted in Eagan, Minn.

Lexis isn’t standing still either in consolidating legal publishing into a true duopoly. They announced earlier this week that they were acquiring State Net, right after they off-loaded Congressional Information Service (CIS) and University Publications of America to ProQuest. This makes me wonder how long it will take TR to gobble up ProQuest.

As for the ABA/TR deal, it probably makes sense for the ABA to outsource the primary printing operations to an established shop like TR… and with the reduced demand for TR’s legal publications, it is most likely a “win-win” for both parties.