U.S. Clears Deal to Create Biggest Book Publisher

By Pfanner, Eric | International Herald Tribune, February 15, 2013 | Go to article overview

U.S. Clears Deal to Create Biggest Book Publisher


Pfanner, Eric, International Herald Tribune


The Justice Department imposed no conditions on the deal between Bertelsmann and Pearson, but analysts said Europe's review could be more stringent.

The U.S. Justice Department has cleared the proposed merger of Random House and Penguin, which would create the biggest book publisher in the world, their parent companies said Thursday.

The Justice Department imposed no conditions on the German media company Bertelsmann, which owns Random House, and its British counterpart Pearson, the parent of Penguin, thereby removing a significant hurdle to the deal. Still, the proposed formation of Penguin Random House faces other regulatory reviews, most notably by the European Commission.

"This positive first decision by one of the antitrust authorities is an important milestone on the path to uniting two of the world's leading publishing companies into a truly global publishing group," said Thomas Rabe, chief executive of Bertelsmann, in a statement.

Bertelsmann and Pearson announced plans last year to merge the two publishers into a single concern that would have about 25 percent of the English-language consumer book market. Under the agreement, no money is changing hands, but Bertelsmann is set to control 53 percent of the combined entity. …

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