Bloomberg Law a “Threat”?

A new article on FT.com bears the title: Bloomberg Law’s discounts pose threat. That’s some language from a press release if I’ve ever heard it. Unfortunately, at this point, I don’t think that Bloomberg Law poses any kind of threat.

In the article former Lexis executive Lou Andreozzi states that  he expects “many law firms and corporate lawyers to prefer its flat monthly fee of $450 per attorney to the more expensive and unpredictable sums they pay depending on how often they use rival systems.” I can’t believe that any firm would pay $450 per attorney per month to use Bloomberg Law. With no proprietary secondary sources and a brand-new homegrown new citation service, this cost seems extremely high. In fact, it sounds a lot like lower cost options  Fastcase or Casemaker or even free service Google Scholar.

Although he says that there will be some discounting available, it won’t be much different from their regular pricing. Discounting? That sounds a lot like Lexis and Westlaw pricing: retail with some kind of discount.

He next states that Lexis and Westlaw are “duplicative services” and he expects Bloomberg Law to replace only one of them at a firm. But why would you need to replace a service that is duplicative? Why would you not just go with either Lexis or Westlaw? What reason would I have to add Bloomberg Law, especially at $450 per attorney?

While I applaud the flat-rate pricing of Bloomberg Law their initial price is so high it isn’t realistic for most firms. If the price is negotiable or “discounts” are available, then we are back to the Lexis and Westlaw model. Instead of discounts, why not just lower the per attorney rate by half or more…then it might be a threat.

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