The proposed merger between the mammoth publishing body Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster is making headlines. Reported to be the largest antitrust trial in the history of publishing, Penguin has offered $2.8 Billion for the purpose of acquiring the fourth largest publishing house in the US.
The author Stephen King testified in a suit filed by the Justice Department to block Penguin Random House from buying Simon & Schuster, saying the merger of two of the U.S.’s largest publishers would make it harder for writers to earn a living. https://t.co/oUbpqaYaBB— The New York Times (@nytimes) August 2, 2022
Veteran horror and supernatural fiction author Stephen King has testified in Court against his own publisher(Penguin Random House) on behalf of the United States Department of Justice. The horror king held that the merger could harm the competition in the industry. The District Judge, Florence Pan, commented on how it was a pleasure to hear King’s testimony.
The lawsuit against the merger was filed by the US Department of Justice with claims that this merger could lead to authors suffering from inferior pay and worsened advance amounts. US Attorney General Merrick Garland stated the merger would ultimately lead to fewer books and limited reading options for consumers.
[FR] Hier, Stephen King a témoigné devant l’enquête antitrust du gouvernement américain qui souhaite empêcher la fusion de deux groupes géants de l’édition, afin d’éviter une situation monopolistique— Club Stephen King 🎈 (@ClubSTEPHENKING) August 3, 2022
Explications => https://t.co/R60JptSmKE
Quelques photos en thread pic.twitter.com/2jjFIs5C5m
Penguin’s lead attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, held that the merger would, quite to the contrary, be beneficial to the readers and the publishing industry.
There have been such instances earlier where the Department of Justice has legally battled attempts by corporate giants to monopolize the industry. United States v. Microsoft Corporation, 2001, was one such case. Antitrust laws are known for their socialist streak that aims to protect the free, unregulated capitalistic market from aggressive monopolies.