The European Commission has approved the merger of Penguin and Random.
The Commission ruled that they were not concerned with unfair competition, “because the merged entity will continue to face several strong competitors.” This was one of the major hurdles facing the merger of the publishing companies owned by Bertelsmann and Pearson. Here’s more from the release:
The Commission assessed the impact of the transaction on the upstream markets for the acquisition of authors’ rights for English language books in the European Economic Area (EEA) and worldwide, and on the downstream markets for the sale of English language books to dealers in the EEA, in particular in the UK and Ireland. The Commission found that on both types of markets the new entity Penguin Random House will continue to face competition from several large and numerous small and medium sized publishers. As regards the sale of English language books, the merged entity will furthermore face a concentrated retail base, such as supermarkets for print books and large online retailers for e-books, like Amazon. In addition, the Commission’s investigation revealed no evidence that the transaction would lead to risks of coordination among publishers in relation to the acquisition of authors’ rights and the sale of English language books to dealers.