Department of Justice Clears Penguin, Random House Merger

The U.S. Department of Justice has removed one hurdle in the proposed mega-merger between Penguin and Random House, which will form the largest publishing company in the world.

In Dec., Penguin settled a lawsuit with the DOJ over alleged ebook price-fixing, which was thought to be a step taken to prepare for the merger. With the DOJ ebook lawsuit settled, it was thought that the DOJ would be less likely to oppose a merger between two of the six largest publishers in the world.

Other regulatory bodies in other countries have yet to approve of the merger. If approvals come as expected, the merger will close in the second half of 2013.



Pearson and Bertelsmann today announce that they have been notified by the US Department of Justice that it has closed its investigation into the proposed merger of Penguin and Random House, without conditions.

The two companies announced their agreement to combine Penguin and Random House in October 2012. The proposed merger is currently under review by the European Commission, the Canadian Competition Bureau and various other antitrust authorities around the world. Pearson and Bertelsmann continue to expect the transaction to close in the second half of 2013, after all necessary approvals have been received.

Following completion, Bertelsmann will own 53% and Pearson 47% of Penguin Random House. It will encompass all of Random House and Penguin Group’s publishing units in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, as well as Penguin’s operations in China and Random House’s publishers in Spain and Latin America.

Pearson and Bertelsmann believe that the combined organisation, the world’s leading consumer publishing company, will have a stronger platform and greater resources to invest in rich content, new digital publishing models and high-growth emerging markets.

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