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Friday, October 26, 2012

Is a combined Random House/Penguin the publishing future?

A combination of two powerful publishing houses?

GalleyCat and Beattie's Bookblog (link to the right), discuss news that is going to shake the global publishing industry to the core.

Today Pearson (the corporate parent of Penguin) confirmed that the publishing company is considering “a possible combination of Penguin and Random House.”

Pearson had this statement: “Pearson confirms that it is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House. The two companies have not reached agreement and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.

So what has impelled this sudden revolution in thought? The strategic challenges of the booming e-book business, apparently. Together, the two publishers would have enormous clout, holding sway over a quarter of the US market.

According to early analysis, Bertelsmann (the corporate parent of Random House) would end up with a bigger than 50% share.  Is this enough to give Penguin cold feet?

Only time will tell -- but that time is likely to be soon.

And when ... if ... it happens, how will it effect New Zealand? Bertelsmann have a special interest in our beautiful and very literate little country, and so when ... if ... the merger goes ahead, I predict that something noticeable is very likely to happen to our local industry.

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