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Weekly News Digest

November 9, 2021 — In addition to this week's NewsBreaks article and the monthly NewsLink Spotlight, Information Today, Inc. (ITI) offers Weekly News Digests that feature recent product news and company announcements. Watch for additional coverage to appear in the next print issue of Information Today. For other up-to-the-minute news, check out ITIís Twitter account: @ITINewsBreaks.

CLICK HERE to view more Weekly News Digest items.

News Coverage of Penguin Random House's Blocked Acquisition of Simon & Schuster

The New York Times reports, “The Biden administration on [Nov. 2] sued to stop Penguin Random House, the largest publisher in the United States, from acquiring its rival Simon & Schuster, as part of a new drive in Washington against corporate consolidation.”

Publishers Weekly shares, “Notably, the [Department of Justice] focused its opposition to the deal around its impact on authors (and particularly on potential bestselling authors). … The reaction from both [Penguin Random House] and [Simon & Schuster] has been swift. In a release announcing their intentions to fight the lawsuit, the two publishers called the proposed deal a ‘pro-consumer, pro-author, and pro-book seller transaction.’ Furthermore, sources close to [Penguin Random House] said that the government cherry-picked the numbers used to oppose the deal. …”

Melville House posted a helpful roundup of what people have been saying about the lawsuit and the proposed merger, noting, “Will the [Department of Justice] be able to stop the merger? Back in March, the UK’s Competition & Markets Authority (CMA) announced it was investigating the takeover, considering whether it would result in ‘substantial lessening of competition within any market or markets in the United Kingdom for goods or services’. They investigated … and cleared the anticipated acquisition.”

The Passive Voice excerpts an article from The Wall Street Journal, and as usual for this blog, the comment section is worth reading: “Justice Department Sues to Block Penguin Random House’s Acquisition of Simon & Schuster.”

John Warner wrote a column for the Chicago Tribune, “Publishing Works Like an Ecosystem, Which Is Why Penguin Random House Shouldn’t Eat Simon & Schuster,” which states, “One thing I feel confident in is that there will be fewer slots for people who want to work in publishing. … If we aren’t circulating fresh people through the ecosystem, the world of books will be harmed in ways that may be difficult to quantify, but are very real nonetheless. … I’m even open to the possibility that the merger may have positive effects, but to me that’s another reason to be glad that the Justice Department is going to pause the merger and take a look. Let’s be certain.”

Send correspondence concerning the Weekly News Digest to NewsBreaks Editor Brandi Scardilli

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