the big four
November 25, 2020

Make way for Penguin Random House & Simon & Schuster.

ViacomCBS is selling Simon & Schuster, the third largest book publisher in the United States, to Penguin Random House, the largest U.S. publisher, in a deal topping $2 billion, The New York Times reports.

Numerous other outlets also reported the news, including The Wall Street Journal, and ViacomCBS subsequently confirmed it, saying this was the "outcome of a highly competitive auction that attracted interest from buyers around the world," per Deadline.

Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle also said the company "empowers its 320 publishers around the world with maximum creative and entrepreneurial freedom and will, of course, extend this to our new colleagues at Simon & Schuster."

ViacomCBS announced in March that Simon & Schuster would be put up for sale, and the Times reports that more than a half dozen potential buyers were interested, including News Corp, owner of HarperCollins. But this deal "could trigger antitrust concerns," the Times notes, as according to the Journal, it "would create a publishing behemoth accounting for about a third of all books sold in the U.S." The deal, Deadline reports, is "expected to close in 2021, subject to regulatory approval." Brendan Morrow

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