Above The Law: O’Melveny’s Dan Petrocelli Weighs In On Publishing Industry Antitrust Suit

January 06, 2022

O’Melveny partner Dan Petrocelli discussed the US Department of Justice’s antitrust suit that seeks to block Penguin Random House’s proposed US$2.2 billion acquisition of Simon & Schuster. The DOJ contends that the merger is anticompetitive and will harm authors, but Petrocelli, Penguin’s lead attorney, said that authors stand to benefit from the deal. “Penguin Random House has a superior supply chain, a superior sales force, and a superior back office. Bringing the Simon & Schuster imprints into this structure will produce significant efficiencies that can lead to opportunities to sell more books, pass savings down to consumers, and increase compensation to authors,” Petrocelli said. “It’s also important to understand that the case is not an autopsy of the publishing business or a referendum on how it can be improved or who might be struggling and who might not. It’s about whether the merger will substantially lessen competition in a legally recognized market, and here the government can’t even define the market.”

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