An open-access advocacy group on Wednesday sent a formal filing to the U.S. Department of Justice opposing the proposed merger of two of the world’s largest textbook publishers, Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education.
a former adjunct professor at Arizona State University accused the university of firing him because he pushed back against a department-wide decision to adopt a digital textbook.
Cengage, McGraw-Hill Agree to Merge to Become 2nd Biggest US Textbook Publisher
Cengage is now betting its digital business on an annual subscription that gives students unlimited access to all of its digital textbook materials, along with online homework tools and study guides. Earlier this February, it claimed to have sold 1 million such subscriptions since the program was launched in August 2018.
McGraw-Hill Education acquisitions include Redbird Advanced Learning (a K-12 math, reading and writing curriculum provider) Area9 (an adaptive learning technology) and ALEKS (an online adaptive math program).
How Merger of Two Textbook Giants Could Impact Course Materials
By Jeffrey R. Young May 3, 2019
In a joint interview with EdSurge, Michael Hansen, the CEO of Cengage, and Nana Banerjee, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill, said that allowing students the option of paying a flat fee for digital content across the publishers’ offerings could happen sooner than people might think.
Called “Cengage Unlimited,” the program offers students access to every digital textbook and tool the company sells, across the many different tech platforms on which they run. (Many of them were acquired as separate products over the years, such as WebAssign, an online homework application.)
Only about 20 percent of courses in the U.S. use digital course materials, estimated Hansen, meaning that “80 percent of the students are still learning like my parents learned
access to every digital textbook and tool the company sells, across the many different tech platforms on which they run.
Groups advocating for lower textbook prices expressed concerns about the merger
Megan Simmons, a sophomore at Barnard College and director of strategy for the national nonprofit group Student Voice, had one of her first experiences with a digital homework tool in an Italian class. The textbook cost $150, and the access code for the accompanying digital system was another $100. “And the access code can’t be reused,” she complained, meaning she couldn’t resell it after the semester. “Everyone is basically stuck buying that $100 access code.”
my note: lawsuits