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DOJ Sues to Block Penguin Random House from Acquiring Simon & Schuster Based on Concerns That the Combined Firm Would Have Too Much Purchasing Power

Antitrust and Competition Law Alert® | November 11, 2021

On November 2, 2021, the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice (“DOJ”) sued to block the acquisition of Simon & Schuster by Penguin Random House. The case is notable because it alleges a loss of competition in the purchase of publishing rights from top-selling authors (i.e., a “monopsony” concern), excludes as meaningful competitors all but the largest publishing firms, and contends that permitting the merger to proceed would facilitate coordination among the remaining large publishers.

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