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Stephen King To Testify in Book Publishing Antitrust Trial

 |  July 19, 2022

Best-selling author Stephen King is slated to testify for the federal government in an antitrust suit aimed to block Penguin Random House’s $2.18 billion acquisition of Simon & Schuster.

King is being called as a witness in federal court in Washington about his experiences as a popular author in selling anticipated top-selling books, according to court filings.

The author of horror classics including “Carrie” and “The Shining” is expected to testify specifically about publishers that successfully purchase rights to anticipated best-sellers and what effects he believes the proposed deal will have on the markets for those books.

Preliminary witness lists were filed over the weekend, with the government intending to call King – who is published by S&S in the US – early in the proceedings to testify about his experiences. He will be asked about his perceptions of how the market for book rights operates, the expectations and needs of top-selling authors, the characteristics of firms that successfully purchase anticipated top-selling titles and the likely effects of the proposed transaction on the market for anticipated bestsellers.

Other notable figures who could provide testimony include Hachette Book Group US c.e.o. Michael Pietsch, S&S president and c.e.o. Jonathan Karp, PRH chairman and c.e.o. Markus Dohle and Macmillan c.e.o. Don Weisberg. Karp and Dohle are expected to testify about the competition between PRH and S&S for anticipated top-selling books.

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