Dun & Bradstreet agrees to sell QED assets to MCH

Database company MCH Strategic Data said September 10 that it will acquire key assets of Quality Education Data (QED) from Dun & Bradstreet’s MDR division.

Dun & Bradstreet purchased QED, MDR’s largest competitor, in February 2009. In May 2010, the Federal Trade Commission filed a lawsuit alleging that Dun & Bradstreet had gained a monopoly on K-12 education data.

At the time of the suit, the FTC alleged that Dun & Bradstreet controlled a 90% stake in the education data market, which prevented competitors from keeping prices competitive.

D&B officials could not be reached to discuss how the lawsuit might have impacted the sale.

“We believe our agreement to sell a package of assets acquired in the 2009 acquisition of QED preserves important enhancements to MDR’s offerings, while addressing the concerns raised by the FTC,” D&B said in a statement.

MCH would not disclose how much it paid for QED’s assets, which include a comprehensive database of K-12 schools, childcare centers, public libraries and colleges, as well as QED’s trademarks and intellectual property.

As a result of the purchase, MCH will grow its existing database to include nearly 5 million educators and 3 million e-mail addresses.

“We view this as a great move for education marketers,” said Kirk Chritton, director of marketing and product development at MCH. “The acquisition allows MCH to present a very robust database for marketers that combines with our existing database.”

Chritton said the sale has not been finalized, but MCH is already working to integrate the two databases.

The information is used to market books and other materials to education professionals. MCH plans to use the QED brand name prominently in its marketing efforts, Chritton said.

“We view this as an opportunity to restore the market power of QED,” he said. “We’re eager to take on the marketplace and to establish MCH as a strong alternative to MDR.”

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