O’Melveny Worldwide

The National Law Journal: ‘Factually and Economically Wrong:’ Book Publishers Criticize DOJ’s Antitrust Legal Theory

December 13, 2021


Lawyers for Penguin Random House responded to the US Department of Justice’s antitrust suit against the company, arguing that its proposed acquisition of competitor Simon & Schuster is “procompetitive in every way.” The DOJ sued to block the merger last month saying that it would give the publishing giant “outsized influence over who and what is published.” Lead defense counsel for Penguin, O’Melveny’s Daniel Petrocelli, responded saying that small-name authors and independent bookstores have much to gain from access to Penguin’s supply chain because it will help make books “more discoverable, visible and available.” Petrocelli successfully defended AT&T’s purchase of Time Warner against a DOJ antitrust suit in 2018. “DOJ wants to block the merger on the misguided theory it will diminish compensation to the highest paid authors,” Petrocelli said. “This is not only legally, factually and economically wrong, but it also ignores the vast majority of authors who indisputably will benefit from the transaction. We are fully confident that this merger will only enhance competition across the entire spectrum of the publishing industry.”

Read the full article here.