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Penguin, Simon & Schuster ask judge to reject U.S. antitrust lawsuit -Breaking

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© Reuters. FILEPHOTO: Penguin books can be seen at central London’s used bookstore on October 29th 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

By David Shepardson

WASHINGTON (Reuters] – Major book publishers asked a judge to reject an U.S. Justice Department Antitrust lawsuit. The government called their arguments “legally wrong, factually incorrect, and economically harmful.”

In November, the Justice Department sued to block Penguin Random House, the world’s biggest book publisher, from buying competitor Simon & Schuster, saying the deal would give the company “outsized influence” over what Americans read.

In a Monday court filing, the companies claimed that “The merger will not reduce that leverage nor decrease the incentives for Penguin Random House or its competitors to make aggressive offers for the most coveted textbooks.”

Bertelsmann, the German media group Bertelsmann that owns Penguin Random House, agreed last year to purchase Simon and Schuster (NASDAQ:) from ViacomCBS for $2.175billion. This will increase its US presence and add novelist Stephen King and Anthony Doerr to it. Woodward (NASDAQ:) To its stable of writers

According to the Justice Department, it claimed that this deal will give them “outsized power over publishing and the compensation of authors.”

It was a complaint that highlighted how important it is for authors to be able to earn money from their books and companies compete for them.

Booksellers claimed that the Justice Department wanted to protect “the most successful authors”, those with the best agents, and the richest book contracts.

The complaint stated that if the merger was completed Penguin Random House would have nearly half the market for blockbuster book publishing rights. However, its closest competitors would only be half the size of itss.

The Justice Department, which was added to the list of book publishers, did not claim that the merger would lower competition or cause higher prices for consumers.

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