By Paul StJohn Mackintosh So two of the largest publishers in the world are merging their book arms entirely to deal with “this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers,” to quote Pearson CEO Marjorie Scardino. Could there be any clearer proof that e-books are where the action is, and that the print-only [...]
The Oct. 29 merger of book behemoths Random House and Penguin not only creates the world’s largest publisher, home to authors as diverse as Fifty Shades of Grey’s E L James and mystery writer Patricia Cornwell, it also will present a formidable challenge to the growing power of such digital distributors as Amazon and Apple. And some already are worrying that the consolidation will decrease opportunities for authors and drive down advances.
Two of the world's biggest publishing houses are to link up in a deal that will bring the writings of classics like George Orwell's "1984" and this year's literary phenomenon "Fifty Shades of Grey" under one umbrella.
Confirmation that Pearson will merge its Penguin Books division with Random House, which is owned by German media company Bertelsmann, will create the world's largest publisher of consumer books, with around a quarter of the market.
They’re going to the chapel and they’re gonna get married: Book publishers Penguin and Random House will become one after their parents company complete an upcoming merger. If the merging of companies in other industries is any indication, this new union could produce higher book prices as the two cease competing, as well as a possible dearth in the selection of titles.
Pearson, the British media conglomerate, said Thursday that it was in talks to combine its Penguin publishing house with Random House, owned by Bertelsmann of Germany.
The deal, if completed, would bring together two of the biggest book publishers in the world, uniting Penguin and its iconic orange logo with the owner of Crown Publishing and Knopf Doubleday. The combination would create a division with greater scale that could compete in a rapidly evolving e-book market.
Profits at the book publisher Penguin slumped by almost 50% in the first six months, thanks in part to the runaway global success of EL James's Fifty Shades of Grey, which is published by a rival, Vintage Books.
The runaway success of Fifty Shades and The Hunger Games helped cut sales at Penguin by 4% to £441m and its adjusted operating profit down 48% to £22m.