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Evolution of the online information industry in Spain, 1973-2014: Actors, products and services

Antonio Muñoz-Cañavate (Departamento de Informacion y Comunicacion, Universidad de Extremadura, Badajoz, Spain)
Pedro Hípola (Departamento de Informacion y Comunicacion, Universidad de Granada, Granada, Spain)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 9 November 2015




The purpose of this paper is to first, describe the origins and evolution of electronic information products and services for the business community in Spain and second, to analyze the current distribution of today’s market players.


This study is based on a review of the scholarly literature about the information industry, on Spanish annuals and directories about databases, on related legislation, and on the broad experience of the authors who have worked in this field since the 1980s.


The early days of the business information industry in Spain developed precariously, in comparison to other parts of the world. Furthermore, the supply of information was almost entirely monopolized by the public administration. Nevertheless, the structure and market players have been completely reorganized, starting in the 1980s, leading to today’s totally transformed panorama.


Three main factors can explain this evolution: first, growth in the creation of new companies; second, processes of mergers and acquisitions; third, recent consolidation of a group of companies that re-use information generated by the public sector. Their activities have been stimulated by legislative initiatives over the past eight years that promote and regulate this market.



Lucía Díaz-Navarro, Research group “Software documental” Javier Alonso, Research group “Software documental”


Muñoz-Cañavate, A. and Hípola, P. (2015), "Evolution of the online information industry in Spain, 1973-2014: Actors, products and services", Online Information Review, Vol. 39 No. 7, pp. 939-954.



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