|Weekly News Digest
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More Outlets Weigh In on the PRH vs. DOJ Trial
Constance Grady writes the following in “Book Publishers Just Spent 3 Weeks in Court Arguing They Have No Idea What They’re Doing” for Vox:
On August 22, oral arguments ended in the Justice Department’s antitrust trial to block the book publisher Penguin Random House from merging with rival Simon & Schuster. The result of the trial, which is expected to be decided later this fall, will have a massive impact on both the multibillion-dollar book publishing industry and on how the government handles corporate consolidation going forward. Perhaps fittingly for a case with such high stakes, the trial was characterized by obfuscation and downright disinformation nearly the whole way through. …
Over the course of the trial … publishers would continue to insist on their existing public image as helpless incompetents at the whims of larger companies and an irrational market. The government, meanwhile, stuck to the narrative that the publishers were savvy operators who knew exactly what they were doing with their billion-dollar companies. The question of which story was most convincing will help decide the future of American antitrust law.
Victoria Bekiempis writes the following in “So Who Won the Antitrust Trial?” for Vulture:
The trial has dramatic implications for the U.S. publishing industry, and the proceedings have provided insight into a largely opaque world. There were witnesses such as best-selling author Stephen King and publishing executives including Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle. Their testimony made public how things like author compensation and publishers’ competition for best sellers play out in this seemingly unregulated business. …
Vulture spoke with experts and observers about how they think the trial went. … Legal experts and observers told Vulture that lawyers for all sides seemed to present strong cases. However, some thought that the Department of Justice’s case came across as more persuasive.
For more information, read Vox’s article and Vulture’s article.
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