US government wants to prevent the purchase of billions from Bertelsmann subsidiary

WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) – The US government has filed an antitrust lawsuit against the multi-billion dollar purchase of the book publisher Simon & Schuster by Bertelsmann subsidiary Penguin Random House. The takeover of the rival would lead to too great a market power and damage competition too much, the US Department of Justice announced in Washington on Tuesday. Penguin Random House is already the largest book publisher in the world, with the acquisition of one of the largest competitors, the influence on the US market will be too great.

The companies had announced the planned takeover in November 2020, the purchase price should therefore be 2.18 billion dollars (1.88 billion euros). The New York-based publisher Simon & Schuster has so far been part of the US media group ViacomCBS and publishes, among other things, the books by successful author Stephen King. Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster denied the Justice Department’s objections in a statement to the US media and announced that they would vigorously defend themselves against the lawsuit./hbr/DP/he

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