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Penguin Random House is one of the oldest book publishers in the United States.
It was initially tipped to merge with Simon & Schuster, but Paramount recently ended its agreement.
Paramount also decided not to appeal to the recent federal court ruling that blocks the merger of the publishing companies.
Penguin Random House is a subsidiary of the German media giant Bertelsmann.
According to an SEC filing from Paramount, Penguin is obligated to pay Simon & Schuster’s parent company a $200 million termination fee.
The $2.17 billion proposal was announced as far back as November 2020.
Late last month, US District Court Judge Florence Pan ruled that merging the book publishing giants would illegally reduce competition.
Last year, the Justice Department sued to stop the merger, one of the first significant antitrust actions from the Biden administration.
Simon & Schuster
The parent company of Simon & Schuster released a statement saying it is still looking for buyers.
“Simon & Schuster is a highly valuable business with a recent record of strong performance,” they wrote.
“However, it is not video-based and therefore does not fit strategically within Paramount’s broader portfolio.”
Meanwhile, Jonathan Karp, the president and CEO of Simon & Schuster, wrote an email saying the news is still fresh.
“And at this point, I have no specific information to impart about what will happen in the coming months,” said Karp.
According to the lawsuit, the deal would have allowed the merged company more control over how much their authors are paid.
Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster are currently among the “Big Five” major book publishers in the United States.
Additionally, the lawsuit argued there would be fewer bidders for highly-anticipated books.
The fewer the bidders, the bigger the potential blow to writers looking to publish their works.
Opinions expressed by NY Weekly contributors are their own.