Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

News

US judge says Penguin Random House book merger cannot go forward

WASHINGTON — A planned $2.2-billion merger of Penguin Random House, the world’s largest book publisher, and rival Simon & Schuster cannot go forward, a US judge ruled on Monday.

Judge Florence Pan of the US District Court for the District of Columbia, said in a brief order that she found the Justice Department had shown the deal may substantially lessen competition “in the market for the US publishing rights to anticipated top-selling books.”

Unlike most merger fights, which are focused on what consumers pay, this one focused on authors’ earnings. The government argued the deal should be stopped because it would lead to less competition for blockbuster books and lower advances for authors who earn $250,000 or more.

Penguin Random House said the decision was “unfortunate,” and said it would “immediately request an expedited appeal.” It said it considered the deal pro-competitive.

Penguin writers include cookbook author Ina Garten and novelists Zadie Smith and Danielle Steele, while Simon & Schuster publishes Stephen King, Jennifer Weiner, and Hillary Rodham Clinton, among others.

Penguin is owned by German media group Bertelsmann SE & Co. while Paramount Global owns Simon & Schuster.

“The proposed merger would have reduced competition, decreased author compensation, diminished the breadth, depth, and diversity of our stories and ideas, and ultimately impoverished our democracy,” US Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter said in a statement.

The US Justice Department had filed a lawsuit aimed at stopping the deal in November 2021.

In hearings held in August, the government argued that the largest five publishers control 90% of the market, and a combined Penguin and Simon & Schuster would control nearly half of the market for publishing rights to blockbuster books while its nearest competitors would be less than half its size.

Penguin Random House lawyer Daniel Petrocelli, who defeated the government in a previous merger challenge, argued during the trial that the deal would have “enormous benefits” for readers and authors alike because the imprints, or brands, owned by the two giants would continue to compete against each other.

Best-selling author Stephen King, who testified during the three-week trial, took issue with this pledge. “You might as well say you’re going to have a husband and wife bidding against each other for the same house. It’s kind of ridiculous,” Mr. King told the court.

The top five publishers are Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, Macmillan, Simon & Schuster, and Hachette, with Walt Disney Co. and Amazon.com, Inc. also in the market. HarperCollins is owned by News Corp.

Pan was nominated to the US District Court for the District of Columbia by President Joseph R. Biden, who then nominated her to the appeals court in Washington. She was confirmed in September. — Reuters

Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

News

THE PESO strengthened against the dollar on Tuesday amid easing global oil prices and ahead of an expected increase in remittances due to the...

News

PHILIPPINE STOCKS extended their climb on Tuesday on last-minute bargain-hunting and ahead of the rebalancing of the MSCI. The bellwether Philippine Stock Exchange index...

News

The Government Service Insurance System headquarters in Pasay, Philippines. May 28, 2012. — BW FILE PHOTO THE government financial institutions (GFIs) that will be...

News

REUTERS THE European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) urged the Philippines to eliminate tariffs on imports of all electric vehicles (EVs) regardless...

News

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. answers questions from the media after his first Cabinet meeting in Malacañan Palace, July 5. — PHILIPPINE STAR/ KRIZ JOHN...

News

FREEPIK AN Israeli tech investor said a country’s legal system is a major consideration in attracting foreign investment, and urged legislators to reform the...

You May Also Like

News

BW FILE PHOTO GROSS BORROWINGS by the National Government reached P2.6 trillion as of end-September as it continued to raise funds to respond to...

News

REUTERS By Luz Wendy T. Noble, Reporter The country’s foreign exchange buffers slightly increased as of end-October as the value of the central bank’s...

News

KARASOLAR.COM TENA, Ecuador — Ecuador’s rainforest Achuar people say their ancestors long dreamed of a “fire canoe” or “electric fish” that would let them...

News

COVID-19 has had a significant impact on the mental health of Filipinos across different groups all over the archipelago. From frontline workers, parents balancing...

Disclaimer: Respect Investment.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2022 Respect Investment. All Rights Reserved.