This announcement of the purchase of Biomed Central by Springer is interesting. Who is co-opting whom? Is this acknowledgement of the commercial value of the open access model? Or is it the harbinger of spiraling author fees? Regardless of the motivations or goals, the nature of the editorial boards and contributors to Biomed Central is likely to making Springer tread lightly. Else, alternatives will be generated by the increasingly fluid market of publication venues.