The New York Times: Penguin Random House Defends Effort to Buy Simon & Schuster

December 13, 2021

In a recent court filing, Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the United States, said that its proposed acquisition of competitor Simon & Schuster will benefit the industry and favor authors, booksellers, and readers. The US Department of Justice filed suit last month seeking to block the US$2.18 billion merger, saying that it would ultimately hurt best-selling authors and their pay. “The government wants to block the merger under the misguided theory that it will diminish compensation to just the highest-paid authors. That is legally, economically and factually wrong, and it ignores the vast majority of authors who will indisputably benefit from the transaction,” Penguin’s attorney Daniel Petrocelli said. “This slender piece of the market does not exist. There is no objectively definable market for authors of anticipated top-selling books.”

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