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Senators Urge DOJ To Look At “Problematic” Textbook Merger

 |  April 28, 2020

Six Democratic senators have urged the US Justice Department to take a hard look at what they called a “problematic” merger of the No. 2 and No. 3 largest textbook companies, Cengage and McGraw-Hill. 

“The combination of high concentration, a history of skyrocketing textbook prices that far outpace inflation, and a captive market makes this anticompetitive merger one that risks further aggravating the affordability of education,” Senator Richard Blumenthal and five colleagues wrote in a letter dated Friday, April 28.

According to Reuters, the senators, who also include Cory Booker, Richard Durbin, Dianne Feinstein, Mazie Hirono, and Tina Smith, noted that Pearson and the two merging companies together have more than 80% of the market, that prices rose more than three times faster than inflation between 2002 and 2012 and that students cannot bargain-hunt, but must buy the book ordered by their professors.

The deal, which would create a company worth about US$5 billion, comes at a time when college textbook prices are stable or declining slightly after two decades of rising sharply, according to US government data. 

Full Content: Reuters

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