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The DOJ Says No!

image source: Library Journal

The publishing world is quaking in its spine. There is tension between the two biggest publishing companies in the US and the Department of Justice (DOJ). The tension is mainly down to the outcome of the buyout that Penguin Random House (PRH) offered to Simon & Schuster. The DOJ has made its position very clear. It opposes the merger in favor of more options and profits for authors.

The agency has gone as far as suing PRH for acquiring its rival. In the agency’s official statement, it expressed that Penguin Random House would have too much control, having influence over half the US publishing industry, ultimately resulting to fewer options and less power for individual authors to negotiate deals.

One of the questions that federal regulators want to answer before approving the deal is definitely how big both companies would get when they merge. This may very well be the exact question that other publishing houses in the country are asking.

Following this tension are countless features of differing opinions from the members of the Author’s Guild and several other writer’s organizations, government agencies like the DOJ, and the publishing houses themselves. These opinions may sway the courts to favor one side, or it may be a moot point, only time will tell as the acquisition is now effectively blocked for further studies. Court hearings are scheduled to begin sometime in mid-2022.

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