Top Twos-Day: and the two shall become one…maybe

A conglomeration continuation: Random House and Penguin have joined forces to create Penguin Random House. The merger connects the parent companies of both, the British-owned Pearson (though Pearson will retain rights to use the Penguin brand in education markets) and the German-owned Bertelsmann AG (Random House), giving a 25% market share of all books published in the US. The last piece in the consolidation requires approval which may be complicated by the Justice Department’s “…pending litigation against Penguin over e-book pricing. In Europe, Penguin has declined to settle with the European Commission over similar issues.” (USA Today 10/29/2012 Bob Minzesheimer.)

The deal scuttles Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp’s bid, (owner of HarperCollins), to consume Pearson. The venture, according to John Makinson, current chair and presumed conglomerate chair, “…will also allow Penguin Random House to take risks with new authors, to defend our creative and editorial independence, to publish the broadest range of books on the planet.” And current broker of Penguin, Jefferies International stated, they “…would have preferred Pearson sell off Penguin altogether. ‘The gorilla of the book business is no publisher, it’s Amazon and it will stay that way, Jefferies’ note said.’” (USA Today 10/29/2012 Bob Minzesheimer.)

Are you following this? They are merging for the good of all folks, but they would have preferred to dump Penguin. Got your scorecards out? That’s another one for the publishers and zero for the authors…again.


More Top Twos-Days…


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6 thoughts on “Top Twos-Day: and the two shall become one…maybe

  1. The whole thing makes me want to munch a handful of TUMS tablets. The only way writers will profit from this in the end is to place big bets on how soon the “merger” cuts out Penguin. Oh, wait, then only one writer will win…

    • Pass me some, Marylin! There’s more chatter today, and it looks like we may lose some of the imprints! Which of course means fewer places for submitting, and loss of control from the surviving ones to the larger conglomerate. Meaning: if you submit to us and we reject you, don’t bother submitting to our other imprints, one NO is from all of us!

    • I’ll look into my crystal ball, Linda…and I see a dissolution of the union after the required three year waiting period, unless lawyers get involved, hehehe

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