R.R. Bowker has acquired PubEasy, the online book wholesale self-service center, from Vista International. Bowker also owns PubNet, an EDI-based system, which allows retailers to check title availability, place orders and check on them, much like PubEasy. However, PubEasy is Web-based and provides retailers with 24/7 access to title information. The service is also free to retailers.

PubEasy targets general trade bookstores, and its clients are far more international (11,000 retailers from 110 countries) than PubNet, whose services are aimed primarily at U.S. college bookstores and some trade bookstores. Gary Aiello, Bowker's senior v-p of operations, told PW that Bowker "intends to introduce various enhancements to both services in the coming year. Both services have certain advantages, and we want to take the best of both and ultimately create one service."