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US Judge lays out case for blocking publishing giants merger

abcnews.go.com – Wednesday November 9, 2022

WASHINGTON -- A federal judge has laid out a data-laden case for why she blocked Penguin Random House’s proposed purchase of Simon & Schuster, handing a victory to the Biden Justice Department in its contention that combining two of the world’s biggest publishers would hurt competition for top-selling books.

In her ruling filed Monday, U.S. District Court Judge Florence Pan also waved off as not relevant the publishers’ assertion that Penguin Random House would be the best “home” for Simon & Schuster and that other buyers — notably private equity firms — could destroy it. That argument isn’t relevant to the case and her decision, Pan wrote, which turns only on the issue of how the merger would affect competition.

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