Australia approves Random House Penguin merger

Australia approves Random House Penguin merger

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has said it will approve the merger of Random House and Penguin without any restrictions.

The publishing houses' parent companies Bertelsmann and Pearson have welcomed the ACCC’s ruling, which follows the US Department of Justice’s decision to clear the merger last month, also without restrictions. Antitrust reviews into the merger continue in several other territories, including Europe.

A Bertlesmann spokesperson said: “Bertelsmann and Pearson can finalise the transaction as soon as all the necessary approvals have been received. The two companies are confident of receiving these approvals over the course of the year.”

The planned publishing house, in which Bertelsmann will own 53% and Pearson 47% of shares, will encompass all of Random House and Penguin Group’s publishing units in the US, Canada, UK, Australia, New Zealand, India and South Africa, as well as Penguin’s operations in China and Random House’s publishers in Spain and Latin America.

Bertelsmann and Pearson expect all the antitrust approvals needed to finalise the merger in the second half of 2013.