January 24, 2008 / 10:14 PM / 11 years ago

Pearson, Harcourt reach merger pact with US agency

WASHINGTON, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Book and newspaper publisher Pearson (PSON.L) has agreed to sell several assets in order to proceed with a $950 million purchase of Harcourt Assessment, the Justice Department said on Thursday.

Pearson agreed to sell clinical tests that are used by psychologists, speech-language pathologists and clinicians such as Reed Elsevier’s Adaptive Behavior Assessment System, the department said.

No value was given for the assets.

“Without the divestitures obtained by the department, purchasers of clinical tests for adaptive behavior, speech and language, and adult abnormal personality likely would have faced higher prices and reduced innovation as a result of this transaction,” said Thomas O. Barnett, assistant attorney general for antitrust, in a statement.

Pearson is buying Harcourt’s education assessment and international assets from Anglo-Dutch publisher Reed Elsevier (REL.L) ELSN.AS. Pearson’s other assets include the Financial Times newspaper. (Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Gary Hill)

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