Random House/Penguin merger?

Today, there was huge news in the publishing world. According to reports, there is a possibility two publishing houses, Penguin and Random House, the largest publisher in the world, could be joining forces.

Pearson, the company that owns Penguin, is in talks to combine with Bertelsmann SE, the media giant that owns Random House. The transaction is still in talks, so the merger may not come to be. But regardless, it’s a pretty big deal. I’ve read a few articles on the possibility of the merger and what that would mean, and obviously the decision for these companies to combine is most likely stemming from the loss in revenue that some publishers are now experiencing due to the rise of e-books. Although while Penguin has seen a loss in profit, Random House has actually seen profit growth. The merger could mean more revenue for Random House and a way for Penguin to get around its loss in profit and prevent itself from more troubles.

Again, while the merger may not go through, it is something that book lovers and those in the publishing industry will be talking about a lot in the coming days. These are two big publishing houses and their forces joining could be telling of the current climate for publishing and books. It also would mean that this new joint publishing company would mean one fewer publishing company for authors to shop around to, and the consolidation would mean that one company would have more say about what authors to publish and what prices to mark books at. Then again, if a merger like this is what it takes to make sure large and small publishers are able to join and stay afloat in an ever changing publishing environment, then the good must be weighed with any [possible bad.


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