Penguin, Random House Announce Merger | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Filed Under:

Penguin, Random House Announce Merger

There's big news in the world of publishing: The two conglomerates that own Random House and Penguin announced Monday that they were merging their book businesses to form a new company.

German media company Bertelsmann, the owner of Random House, will own 53 percent of the new firm, Penguin Random House; Pearson, which owns Penguin, will control the rest. The merger, subject to regulatory approval, is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2013.

Writers like George Orwell, Salman Rushdie and E.L. James, the author of Fifty Shades of Gray, are now under the same corporate roof.

In a statement, Thomas Rabe, Bertelsmann's chairman and CEO, said the merger could ensure the firm's future in the digital publishing realm.

"The combination of Random House and Penguin, first of all, significantly strengthens book publishing, one of our core businesses. Second, it advances the digital transformation on an even greater scale, and third, it increases our presence in the target growth markets Brazil, India and China."

Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, said the deal would allow both companies to share costs.

It will allow the companies "to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers," she said.

NPR's Lynn Neary reported on the deal on Monday's All Things Considered. Here's what she says about the merger:

"The hope is that combining these two publishing powerhouses into one company will make easier to cope with the increasing popularity of ebooks which can be bought at a much lower price than print books."

Dohle will be CEO of the new group when the deal is finalized. John Makinson, Chairman and CEO of Penguin, will become chairman of the board of directors.

The Associated Press reports that the combined company will control 26 percent of the global consumer publishing market, leaping ahead of the 17 percent share of French publisher Lagardere. Here's more from the AP:

"The announcement may also lay to rest the ambition of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. of netting Penguin. Reports over the past couple of days have indicated that News Corp. had expressed an interest in buying Penguin for 1 billion pounds ($1.6 billion) in cash. News Corp. owns HarperCollins, another big publishing house."

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

For The Autumnal Equinox, A Poem As Chilling As The Fall Weather

Tuesday is the first day of fall. This time of year reminds critic Abigail Deutsch of Stephen Dobyns' "How to Like It" — a poem about a man who ponders his lost summers and fleeting dreams.
NPR

Keeping Heirloom Apples Alive Is 'Like A Chain Letter' Over Many Centuries

Scott Farm in Vermont grows 100 apple varieties, some of them dating back to the 1700s. These apples may not look as pretty as the Red Delicious, but what they lack in looks they make up for in taste.
WAMU 88.5

New Anthony Brown Video Accuses Opponent Of 'Hiding' And 'Lying"

Democrat Anthony Brown unveiled a new web video today alleging that Republican Larry Hogan is "hiding" his positions on contentious issues like abortion and gun control.
NPR

Retailers' Customers Cautioned As Cyber Attacks Continue

Home Depot says some 56 million card holders were possibly compromised in a cyber attack. It says there's no evidence that debit PIN numbers were comprised or that the breach affected online shoppers.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.