New Zealand falls in behind Penguin/Random merger

New Zealand falls in behind Penguin/Random merger

The Penguin/Random House merger has been cleared by the Commerce Commission in New Zealand, with the organisation's chairman satisfied that it would be "unlikely" to "substantially lessen competition".

The decision was announced today (19th March), and follows clearance from the authorities in the US and Australia. A ruling from the EU antitrust regulators is expected early next month.

In New Zealand, Commerce Commission chairman Dr Mark Berry said: "In reaching our decision, the commission considered that, in each of the relevant markets, the merged entity would be constrained from raising prices by a combination of existing competitors and the countervailing power of large customers.

"As a result, the commission is satisfied that the proposed acquisition would be unlikely to substantially lessen competition in any of the proposed markets."

The Penguin and Random House parent companies, Pearson and Bertelsmann respectively, announced the merger deal in October, and anticipated it will be given all the antitrust approvals needed to finalise the merger in the second half of this year.