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.
image from office.com