Book Publishers Antitrust Explainer

Stephen King

WASHINGTON — The government and publishing titan Penguin Random House exchanged opening salvos in a federal antitrust trial Monday as the U.S. seeks to block the biggest American book publisher from absorbing rival Simon & Schuster. The case comes as a key test of the Biden administration’s antitrust policy.

The Justice Department has sued to block the $2.2 billion merger, which would reduce the Big Five U.S. publishers to four.

The government’s star witness, bestselling author Stephen King, is expected to testify at Tuesday’s session of the weekslong trial in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C. King’s works are published by Simon & Schuster, but he has expressed unease with the merger.



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