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DoJ clears Penguin Random House merger in the US

The Penguin Random House merger has been given antitrust clearance by the US  Department of Justice, a move welcomed by Random House parent company Bertelsmann as well as Penguin parent Pearson.

The DoJ has "unconditionally cleared" the formation of the joint publishing company, Penguin Random House.

Bertelsmann chairman and c.e.o. Thomas Rabe welcomed the "positive first decision" from the US, and said: "We are very pleased that the US Department of Justice has concluded its review and made a determination to clear the planned combination of Random House and Penguin without any conditions.

"This positive first decision by one of the antitrust authorities is an important milestone on the path to uniting two of the world's leading publishing companies into a truly global publishing group. It will enable investments worldwide in new digital publishing models, in new distribution paths, products and services and in the major growth markets. Penguin Random House points the way to the international future of the book."

A decision within Europe has yet to be given but the statement confirmed that Bertelsmann and Pearson expect all the antitrust approvals needed to finalise the merger in the second half of 2013. 

Meanwhile, Pearson issued a statement saying: “Pearson and Bertelsmann believe that the combined organisation, the world's leading consumer publishing company, will have a stronger platform and greater resources to invest in rich content, new digital publishing models and high-growth emerging markets.”

Bertelsmann will own 53% of the planned publishing house, with Pearson to own the remaining 47%.