BRUSSELS Feb 27 EU antitrust regulators will
decide by April 5 whether to clear plans by Germany's
Bertelsmann and Britain's Pearson to merge
their publishers Random House and Penguin.
Europe's largest media company Bertelsmann, owner of Random
House, and Pearson, which owns the Financial Times as well as
Penguin, filed for EU approval of their proposed joint venture
on Tuesday, the European Commission said on its website on
The deal, unveiled in October, aims to strengthen the
companies' bargaining power against Amazon and Apple
, especially in the fast-growing e-book market.
The merged company, to be named Penguin Random House, will
bring under one roof fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett, "Fifty
Shades of Grey" author E.L. James and 2012 Nobel prize winner Mo
Some antitrust experts say the deal may attract close
regulatory scrutiny because of evolving industry trends.
But others disagree, saying that the two publishers have
different geographic presences, with Random House strong in
Britain and the United States while Penguin is strong in
fast-growing developing markets.