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DOJ Signs Off on Random-Penguin Merger

random_penguin_dr[1]Pearson and Bertelsmann announced today that one last checkpoint before the merger of Penguin and Random House has been cleared. The US Department of Justice has signed off on the deal which was struck in October 2012.

The 2 publishing conglomerates are now one step closer to becoming a single even larger conglomerate. But before they can do that they will need to gain similar approval from Canadian and European authorities. I am hoping that approval occurs quickly, because I want the merger finalized before the full effects of the digital transition hits Random Penguin Solutions.

We are in a time of transition and radical change akin to the end of the age of the dinosaurs. Remember what happened to most of the larger creatures alive at that time? That’s about what I expect to see happen to the publishing industry, and the resounding thud from the failure of Random Penguin Solutions will be much louder than if the t conglomerates remain separate.

The fact of the matter is, folks, it’s no longer necessary to form ever larger companies in order to make more money. Thanks to the internet a handful of people in an office can reach as many customers as the most well-financed corporate appendage *cough* Bookish *cough*. And the smaller more nimble companies are more likely to weather the transition, much like the early proto-mammals survived the end of the dinosaurs.

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Richard Adin February 15, 2013 um 5:37 am

Nate, I think the merger may have its problems but it won’t disappear like the dinosaurs. There are still too many things that a BPH can do that neither the small entrepreneur nor the self-publisher can do as effectively and efficiently. And the idea that Internet will allow a handful of people to do what a monster like PenguinHouse can do is a bit off the mark. Yes, there is crowdfunding for all kinds of things today, but every funder is expecting some kind of return. In the case of a publisher who publishes more than a single author, the investors are going to expect that eventually the small publisher will grow and produce returns on investment.

If the days of the BPHs are numbered, you can count those days in decades, not in weeks or months or a small number of years.

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