The New York Times: Justice Dept. Sues Penguin Random House Over Simon & Schuster Deal

November 02, 2021

The Biden administration sued to stop the largest publisher in the United States, Penguin Random House, from acquiring its rival Simon & Schuster. This antitrust suit is a sign of the Biden administration’s different view of corporate consolidation and that they are willing to be aggressive in court. Penguin Random House hired Daniel Petrocelli as its trial lawyer to fight the suit. Petrocelli successfully defended AT&T and Time Warner when the US Department of Justice attempted to block their US$100 billion merger. “The government should only be challenging those mergers where they can prove that, as a result of the combination, consumers are going to be harmed — typically in the form of higher prices. And here there is no such evidence,” Petrocelli said. “The government does allege that consumers will have fewer books, but that is completely speculative through a chain of strained logic. They’re not going to be able to prove that at the end of the day.” 

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