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This article was published on April 5, 2013

    The Penguin and Random House merger clears a big hurdle, as the European Commission gives the go-ahead

    The Penguin and Random House merger clears a big hurdle, as the European Commission gives the go-ahead Image by: ALEXANDER KLEIN
    Paul Sawers
    Story by

    Paul Sawers

    Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check h Paul Sawers was a reporter with The Next Web in various roles from May 2011 to November 2014. Follow Paul on Twitter: @psawers or check him out on Google+.

    We’ve known for a while that publishing behemoths Penguin and Random House were to merge, thus creating a colossal book publisher. Well, that deal has been given yet another big seal of approval with the European Commissioning now greenlighting the proposed merger.

    Today’s announcement follows on from the US Department of Justice go-ahead back in February, which was a big step towards completing the deal. Australia followed suit last month, as did New Zealand.

    Random House’s parent company – German mass media corporation Bertelsmann – and Pearson (Penguin’s parent company) confirmed the news earlier today, but the overall deal isn’t yet finalized, as it has yet to be ratified by a number of other bodies.

    Indeed, while the European hurdle is a significant step forward, there still remains India and South Africa, as well as Penguin’s China operations and Random House’s Spain and Latin American publishing houses.

    The publishing giants first announced the plans back in October last year, but it could easily be October this year before the final rubber-stamp is given – the two companies have previously stated that they expect the transaction to be finalized some time in the second half of 2013.

    Assuming the deal is seen through to completion, Bertelsmann will own a majority share in the newly formed ‘Penguin Random House’ with 53%, while Pearson will own the remaining 47%.