Penguin Random House has agreed to buy rival publisher Simon & Schuster for nearly $2.2 billion, foreign media reported, citing people familiar with the matterIt will fail on November 21, local time。
The deal has been in jeopardy since November 1, when the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia blocked the acquisition on antitrust grounds. Penguin Random House had said it planned to appeal the decision, but failed to persuade Simon & Schuster parent Paramount Global to appeal and extend the deal before it expired on November 21.
When the deal was first announced in 2020, government approval was widely expected, further cementing Penguin Random House's position as the largest publisher in the US. But the U.S. Justice Department tried to block it last year,Saying the merger would reduce competition for books and would lead to a drop in authors' income, it called for an end to the acquisition. The two publishers together will account for more than 25 per cent of all print book sales in the US this year.
The collapse of the deal is understood to be a major blow to Penguin Random House's ambitions to expand its huge market share, as well as the huge legal costs of fighting the Justice Department in court,Penguin Random House will have to pay Paramount a 'breakup fee' of about $200 million。
When the deal falls apart, Paramount Worldwide can put Simon & Schuster back up for sale. News Corp. 's HarperCollins publishing unit and Lagardere's Hachette Book Group have previously publicly expressed interest in buying Simon & Schuster.