Justice Dept. Sues Penguin Random House Over Simon & Schuster Deal

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Books|Justice Dept. Sues Penguin Random House Over Simon & Schuster Deal


The Biden administration’s rejection of the projected publishing merger reflects a changing ambiance successful Washington toward consolidation.

Markus Dohle, main  enforcement  of Penguin Random House, successful  2019.
Credit...John Macdougall/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Nov. 2, 2021, 11:27 a.m. ET

In 1 of its archetypal large antitrust decisions, the Biden medication is suing to halt Penguin Random House, the largest steadfast successful the United States, from acquiring its rival Simon & Schuster, signaling a broader presumption of checking firm consolidation than the 1 that has prevailed successful Washington for decades.

In a publishing scenery dominated by a fistful of mega corporations, Penguin Random House towers implicit the others. It operates much than 300 imprints worldwide and has 15,000 caller releases a year, acold much than the different 4 large U.S. publishers. With its $2.2 cardinal projected acquisition of Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House stood to go substantially larger.

The woody was challenged amid a shifting ambiance successful Washington toward consolidation, wherever determination has been accrued scrutiny connected contention and the powerfulness wielded by large companies similar Amazon and Facebook. The determination provides a model into however the Biden medication volition grip these concerns going forward.

Rather than concerns solely implicit harm to consumers, the Department of Justice said the acquisition could beryllium detrimental to producers — successful this case, authors — successful what is called a monopsony, arsenic opposed to a monopoly. The Biden medication filed its lawsuit against Penguin Random House successful the United States District Court for the District of Columbia connected Tuesday.

Penguin Random House said it planned to vigorously combat the situation and hired Daniel Petrocelli arsenic its proceedings lawyer. Mr. Petrocelli successfully defended AT&T and Time Warner against the Justice Department erstwhile it tried to artifact their $100 cardinal merger.

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