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DOJ Sues To Halt Random House’s $2.2B Simon & Schuster Deal

 |  November 2, 2021

The Biden administration is suing to stop Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the United States, from acquiring its rival Simon & Schuster, signaling a broader view of checking corporate consolidation, reported The Wall Street Journal.

In a suit filed in a Washington, DC federal court the DOJ alleged the almost $2.18 billion deal would allow Penguin Random House to exert outsized influence over which books are published in the US and how much authors are paid.

Related: Authors Guild Wants DOJ To Stop Simon & Schuster & Penguin Random House Deal

“In stopping Penguin Random House from extending its control of the U.S. publishing market, this lawsuit will prevent further consolidation in an industry that has a history of collusion,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of theustice Department’s Antitrust Division said in a statement. 

Penguin Random House said it planned to vigorously fight the challenge and hired Daniel Petrocelli as its trial lawyer. Mr. Petrocelli successfully defended AT&T and Time Warner against the Justice Department when it tried to block their $100 billion merger.

Random House is an American book publisher and the largest general-interest paperback publisher in the world. The company has several independently managed subsidiaries around the world. It is part of Penguin Random House, which is owned by German media conglomerate Bertelsmann.

Simon & Schuster is an American publishing company and a subsidiary of ViacomCBS. It was founded in New York City in 1924 by Richard L. Simon and M. Lincoln Schuster.

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