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Law360: DOJ Tells Judge Book Merger Would Reduce Author Pay

August 1, 2022


Opening arguments took place yesterday in the US Department of Justice’s trial seeking to block Penguin Random House's proposed US$2.18 billion merger with Simon & Schuster. US District Judge Florence Y. Pan is presiding over the case in which the DOJ claims that the deal would give Penguin too much control over book publishing rights. Penguin’s lead counsel, O’Melveny partner Daniel Petrocelli, argued that the DOJ could not prove that the merger would have an impact on the price or the number of books published. “They created an artificial market … to prove artificial harm,” said Petrocelli, referring to the DOJ’s focus on the market for books with bestselling authors, typically those with advances that exceed US$250,000. Penguin is represented by Petrocelli, M. Randall Oppenheimer, Andrew Frackman, Abby F. Rudzin, Jonathan Hacker, Courtney Dyer, and Julia Schiller of O’Melveny & Myers LLP.

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