The Hollywood Reporter: In Targeting ViacomCBS’ Simon & Schuster Sale, Biden’s Antitrust Team Makes First Bold Move

November 10, 2021

The US Department of Justice’s case against Penguin Random House’s proposed acquisition of Simon & Schuster is “the first government case to explicitly challenge the creation of a ‘monopsony’ — where a single buyer controls the market.” The author predicts that the case, “is destined for business books and law review articles regardless of the judge’s determination.” The DOJ argues that the merger would give too much control over what and who gets published and how much authors are paid, saying that the current competition in the market drives “higher advances, better services and more favorable contract terms for authors.” DOJ asserts that, “if consummated, this merger would likely result in substantial harm to authors of anticipated top-selling books and ultimately, consumers.” O’Melveny partner and Hollywood law veteran Daniel Petrocelli, who Penguin hired to fight the suit, said that the DOJ “has not found, nor does it allege, that the combination will reduce competition in the sale of books.”

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