6 Apr 2013

Book merger approved

1:15 pm on 6 April 2013

A proposed merger of Penguin and Random House has been approved by the European Commission.

Brussels said the merged business - which will be the world's largest book publisher - would not raise competition concerns, because it will "face several strong competitors".

Bertelsmann of Germany, the parent company of Random House, will own 53% of the new venture, with Pearson, Penguin's owner, controlling the remaining 47%.

The merger was announced last October. The BBC reports competition agencies in the United States previously cleared the deal in February.

The merger is expected to be completed in the second half of this year and the business will simply be called Penguin Random House.

Bertelsmann and Pearson say they expect the new company to generate some $US4 billion in annual revenues.

The world's other largest publishing groups are Hachette, HarperCollins, Macmillan and Simon & Schuster.