Mergers: Commission clears creation of Penguin Random House, combining publishing businesses of Bertelsmann and Pearson

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The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed creation of Penguin Random House, combining parts of the publishing businesses of the media company Bertelsmann of Germany and the publishing company Pearson of the UK. The Commission found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the merged entity will continue to face several strong competitors.

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. Here to read more.

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