US files antitrust complaint to stop book publishing merger

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U.S. regulators are suing to block a $ 2.2 billion book publishing deal that would have reshaped the industry, saying the consolidation would hurt authors and readers.

German media giant Bertelsmann’s Penguin Random House, already America’s largest publisher, wants to buy New York-based Simon & Schuster, whose authors include Stephen King, Hillary Clinton and John Irving, from television and film company ViacomCBS .

The Department of Justice on Tuesday filed an antitrust complaint in the District Court for the District of Columbia, claiming the deal would allow Penguin Random House “to exert disproportionate influence over books published in the United States and over the United States. amount of remuneration paid to authors for their work. “

The purchase of Simon & Schuster would reduce the so-called Big Five of the US edition to four – which also includes HarperCollins, Hachette Book Group and Macmillan.

The Authors ‘Guild, an organization of writers, said it opposed the deal because it would make it more difficult for authors and agents to negotiate with publishers and reduce competition for authors’ manuscripts.

In a statement, the editors said they would fight the lawsuit and blocking the deal would hurt the authors.

Print Title: US Files Antitrust Complaint to End Book Publishing Merger

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