Elsevier, the publisher of top magazines Cell, The Lancet and many others, enjoys billions of dollars in yearly revenue at a high profit margin (37%).
Sweden, like many other European countries, is aiming for full scientific "open access" (free article reading) by 2026. In 2017, Swedish universities paid Elsevier €1.3M ($1.5M) for article publications and €12M ($14.1M) for access to articles.
Now Sweden is demanding that Elsevier make Swedish research content fully available to the public and make its 1,900 journals fully available to Swedish researchers, all at a reasonable price to Swedish universities.
But the Swedes and Elsevier were unable to reach a deal. Starting June 30, Swedish researchers will no longer be publishing in Elsevier and will not have access to Elsevier magazines.
Feuds between nations and science publishers are becoming quite common. Recently France declined to renew its deal with Springer and Germany battled Elsevier on fees.