US Department of Justice files a lawsuit against Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the United States
The US Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Penguin Random House, a well-known publisher in United States, to stop it from acquiring its rival Simon & Schuster. Penguin Random House is to be considered as the largest publisher in the United States as well as it operates more than 300 imprints worldwide and has 15,000 new releases a year. With its $2.18 billion proposed acquisition of Simon & Schuster, Penguin Random House was taking a step forward to become substantially larger.
The antitrust lawsuit in question, filed in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, argues that the acquisition, would be detrimental to authors and result in lower advances since it would merge two publishers that are often the final bidders on the same books.
“If the world’s largest book publisher is permitted to acquire one of its biggest rivals, it will have unprecedented control over this important industry,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a statement concerning the lawsuit. “American authors and consumers will pay the price of this anti-competitive merger — lower advances for authors and ultimately fewer books and less variety for consumers.”
In response to the Justice Department’s decision, a joint statement has been issued by the Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster stating that Penguin Random House had not planned “any reduction in the number of books acquired or in amounts paid for those acquisitions.”