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Edgar Online (EDGR) and UBmatrix announced it will be merging, pending EDGR shareholder approval. In my opinion the merger is a good thing for the two organizations and good for their customers. The two companies are a good fit and the combination gives the consolidated entity a bit more economic heft, providing it with greater resources for continued development over the longer run. However, the subtext of the deal is: “It’s hard to make a buck in the XBRL business.”

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Midsize companies typically lack the economies of scale that larger ones can bring to bear when it comes to buying and implementing software. They usually don’t have the resources to customize packages such as generic enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and they don’t have enough internal IT staff to make ongoing refinements in response to business needs. Observing these constraints, software vendors selling to companies of this size range long ago discovered that verticalization is a necessary market strategy.

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