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Pearson, the British media conglomerate that owns Penguin, said Thursday that it was discussing a potential deal with Random House’s owner, Bertelsmann of Germany. The merger, if completed, would create a combined entity that would control nearly 25 percent of the United States book market and feature an elite roster of authors like Dan Brown, Toni Morrison and John Grisham of Random House and Junot Diaz and Patricia Cornwell of Penguin.
“A combined Random House and Penguin would be a supplier so large it would be very difficult for any anyone to dictate terms to,” said Mike Shatzkin, the founder and chief executive of the Idea Logical Company, a consultant to publishers. He added: “You’re allowed to collude if you’re combined.”
[Update] Gary Price Says It’s official. A deal bringing Penguin and Random House together is a GO according to official announcements from Pearson (Penguin’s owner) and Bertelsmann (Random House owner).