Bertelsmann bid to get Simon & Schuster secures CMA clearance


blockbuster offer by Penguin Random Property proprietor Bertelsmann to buy rival US guide publisher Simon & Schuster currently cleared a major regulatory hurdle.

The backing of the Competitiveness and Markets Authority (CMA) came despite the UK’s Society of Authors elevating fears about the possible impact of the tie-up on prices for customers and contractual conditions for authors.

The CMA has not however disclosed its rationale for clearing the $2.18 billion (£1.45 billion) acquisition by Penguin owner Bertelsmann.

Simon & Schuster is home to star authors together with Stephen King and Dan Brown.

Penguin Random Household publishes about 15,000 new guides a 12 months, with recent titles like the initial section of previous US President Barack Obama’s memoirs, “A Promised Land”.

In the US, the Office of Justice has come below strain from the country’s National Writers Union to block the offer.

Information Corp manager Robert Thomson has formerly stated the deal has “anti-market logic” and would develop a “book behemoth”.

German media giant Bertelsmann, which took full command of Penguin Random House from Pearson in April 2020,  said the deal to invest in Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS would give it a US market share of much less than 20%, and is therefore “approvable”.