Editorials | US judge blocks merger of publishers Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster

Last Monday, a judge in the United States issued an order It is forbidden Random penguin housethe largest publisher in the country, Get Simon & Schuster’s emulatorclaiming that the merger violated antitrust laws.

The union of the two companiesIt will reduce competitiondiminishing compensation for authors, dwarfing the breadth, depth, and diversity of our stories and ideas, and ultimately impoverishing our democracy,” Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division Jonathan Kanter wrote in a statement.

The decision to prevent the acquisition of Simon & Schuster, which is It was estimated to be worth $2.2 billion.by a federal court in the District of Columbia in a case brought by the U.S. Court of Justice.

Judge Florence Bane, who delivered the ruling, said the plaintiffs had succeeded in proving this Merger will negatively affect competition in the bestseller copyright market.

The ruling comes after an 11-day trial in August in Washington federal court examining a request by prosecutors to block the merger, giving a boost to the Biden administration’s attempts to crack down on monopolies.

In the original lawsuit, filed in November 2021, the Department of Justice alleged that Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster, the fourth largest publisher in the United States, Compete to buy manuscripts from authors Provide significant advances and other advantages, as well as favorable contracts for writers.

The US government indicated when filing the lawsuit that the merger would eliminate that competition Authors will get paid less, there will be fewer books on the market and less diversity of readers.

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The case against the publishers joins a series of antitrust investigations launched by the Biden government, as well as by the United States Federal Market Committee, against big tech companies such as Meta – its parent company Facebook – and Google.

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