Toby and I had a great lunch today where we discussed everything from the current state of the music touring business to what will happen when Mayor Mike goes back to his day job of running Bloomberg. One of the topics along the way to the Bloomberg end of things was if Reed Elsevier spun off LexisNexis, who would be the absolute strangest buyer we could think of that could actually invigorate the product and turn the legal research and publishing industry on its ear. The topic was an offshoot of Jason Wilson’s post from yesterday on Should Reed Elsevier sell Lexis-Nexis? and from Robert McKay’s The End of Legal Publishing on Wednesday. This is simply a hypothetical, we have no knowledge of anything going on behind the scenes at Lexis, so don’t read too much into it.

Here are some of the ideas that popped into our heads (with some of the reasoning… or lack-thereof… behind it.

  • Bloomberg Law — mostly because it looks like they are making a run at Lexis’ market share. Why not just plunk down the coin now and skip the battle altogether?
  • Associated Press — A news organization owning a legal information provider isn’t new… maybe they can succeed where others have failed?
  • An E-Discovery Vendor — with all the advances in e-discovery tools, what could a Recommind do with all the content housed in those databases?
  • Google — For a company that would like to index all the world’s information, this would be one piece of the pie they’ve only taken little bites of. Why not eat the whole thing?
  • Amazon — this is a company that has built a well run distribution service. Is this something that could be run in their cloud based services?
  • Apple — Not that we think that Apple wants this, but I could really see them selling caselaw for 99¢, or you could pay $9.99 for the entire volume
  • Microsoft — Somehow I’m envisioning a repeat of Encarta
  • IBM — Actually, I liked this idea (probably because I came up with it.) I would love to see IBM put a “Big Data Guru” like Jeff Jonas on a project to take all the data that LexisNexis has, and put it into one giant pot, stir it up, and start finding relationships in previously unrelated data. 
  • Yahoo! — Pretty much the same reasons as Google, but Yahoo! needs something to make it more competitive and profitable. 
I’m sure we named off a few more companies, but that’s all I can remember now that my burger is kicking in and I’m a ready for an afternoon nap.
Any other suggestions for where a hypothetical LexisNexis sale should go??