DOJ Clears Way for Penguin Random House Merger

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The Department of Justice has completed its review of the proposed merger of Penguin and Random House and has cleared the transaction in the U.S., according to a statement released today by the publishers’ respective parent companies, Pearson and Bertelsmann.

In late October 2012, Pearson and Bertelsmann announced plans to combine their respective publishing operations into a company to be known as Penguin Random House.

“We are very pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has concluded its review and made a determination to clear the planned combination of Random House and Penguin without any conditions,” said Thomas Rabe, chairman and CEO of Bertelsmann. “This positive first decision by one of the antitrust authorities is an important milestone on the path to uniting two of the world’s leading publishing companies into a truly global publishing group.”

Bertelsmann will own 53 percent of the new company, and Pearson will own 47 percent. The merger will encompass all of Random House and Penguin Group’s publishing units in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, India, and South Africa, as well as Penguin’s operations in China and Random House’s publishers in Spain and Latin America. The German publishing group Verlagsgruppe Random House will not be part of the group.

The proposed merger is still under review by the European Commission, the Canadian Competition Bureau, and other antitrust authorities around the world; however, the companies said they still expect the merger to be completed in the second half of 2013.