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Penguin Random House and Paramount merge dropped

Penguin Random House merge with Paramount dropped
Penguin Random House merge with Paramount dropped

Image source: Bloomberg

Penguin Random House is one of the oldest and most well-known book publishers in the United States.

It originally planned to merge with Simon & Schuster, but Paramount recently terminated its deal.

Paramount also decided not to appeal the recent federal court decision blocking the publishers’ merger.

The news

Penguin Random House is a subsidiary of German media giant Bertelsmann.

According to a Paramount SEC filing, Penguin is obligated to pay Simon & Schuster’s parent company a $200 million termination fee.

The $2.17 billion proposal was announced in November 2020.

Late last month, US District Court Judge Florence Pan ruled that the book publishing giants’ merger would unlawfully restrict competition.

In 2021, the Justice Department filed a lawsuit to block the merger, one of the Biden administration’s first significant antitrust actions.

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Simon & Schuster

The parent company of Simon & Schuster said in a statement that it is still looking for buyers.

“Simon & Schuster is a highly valuable business with a recent record of strong performance,” they wrote.

“However, it is not video-based and therefore does not fit strategically within Paramount’s broader portfolio.”

Meanwhile, Jonathan Karp, president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, wrote an email saying the news was still fresh.

“And at this point, I have no specific information to impart about what will happen in the coming months,” said Karp.

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The lawsuit

According to the lawsuit, the settlement would have given the merged company more control over how much their authors are paid.

Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster are currently among the “Big Five” book publishers in the United States.

Additionally, the lawsuit argues that there would be fewer bidders for the highly anticipated books.

The lower the bidders, the greater the potential hit for writers looking to publish their works.


Penguin Random House’s $2.2 billion deal for Simon & Schuster is over

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