In deal that unites two of the largest players in the digital college textbook field, Ingram’s VitalSource Technologies has acquired the assets of CourseSmart. Originally founded in 2007 by Macmillan, Cengage, John Wiley, McGraw-Hill Education, and Pearson to facilitate the distribution of digital textbooks, CourseSmart expanded its mission to provide a range of digital learning content to the higher education community. CourseSmart estimates that it offers access to over 90% of core higher education titles as e-textbooks along with large catalog of e-resources and digital course materials.

The acquisition “creates a company with more business options and a broader range of services for publishers and institutions, more inventory for faculty and course designers, and greater scalability for content creators and resellers,” said Ingram’s Kent Freeman about the deal. Ingram estimated it will take 12 to 18 months to fully transition CourseSmart customers to the Vital Source platform. Sean Devine, who has led CourseSmart, will help with the integration process.

The VitalSource Bookshelf platform has more than 4 million users across 6,000 campuses around the world and has content from more than 500 of the world's top academic publishers.