I've noted before the problems with OA publisher membership schemes <http://bit.ly/eWUm51
>, arguing that if universities want to support OA journals (and they should), it's better to put their money into an OA fund supporting any suitable OA journal a la the Compact for Open-Access Publishing Equity <http://www.oacompact.org/
> than to pay a membership fee to privilege a particular set of OA journals.
The Open Access Scholarly Publisher's Association has recently posted a response to a request for input on the Finch report, in which they pick up on some of the same themes:
"However, OASPA also recognizes the possibility that such schemes could lead to a lack of transparency regarding the cost of publication in different Open Access outlets, particularly if the terms of these deals are not publicly disclosed, which could be detrimental to the functioning of the market. Moreover, OASPA feels that membership schemes that are based on up-front commitments for a university to publish a particular volume of content with a given publisher can potentially reduce competition within the Open Access ecosystem, making it difficult for smaller publishers to compete on a level playing field with larger publishers, who are inherently better positioned to negotiate individual deals with universities."
It's good to see that OA publishers themselves recognize some of the incentive problems with membership arrangements.