By Foo Yun Chee
BRUSSELS, March 27 Bertelsmann and Pearson are
set to win unconditional EU regulatory approval for a plan to
merge their publishers Random House and Penguin, two people
familiar with the matter said on Wednesday.
Bertelsmann, Europe's largest media group, and
British publisher Pearson announced the deal in October
to strengthen their bargaining power against Amazon and
Apple, especially in the fast-growing e-book market.
"The companies have not provided concessions," one of the
sources said. Companies typically do not offer concessions if
regulators do not see any anti-competitive effects resulting
The spokesman for competition policy at the European
Commission, Antoine Colombani, declined to comment. The EU
competition authority has set an April 5 deadline for its
Regulators in the United States and New Zealand have already
cleared the deal. China, Canada and the Austrian media watchdog
are also examining the proposed merger.
Random House, the biggest book publisher in the United
States and Britain, has been buoyed by the success of the "Fifty
Shades" trilogy of novels. Penguin is the No. 2 player in the
United States and third in Britain.