Random House and Penguin to combine, strengthen position with digital distributors

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Two of the world’s four top English language publishers, Random House and Penguin, are about to be unified, thanks to a new joint venture between their parent companies Bertelsmann and Pearson. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a deal is in place, with Bertelsmann receiving a 53 percent stake while Pearson receives 47 percent. Specifics of the deal have not been disclosed, but the Journal gives figures of between $ 2 and $ 3 billion, citing “a person familiar with the matter.”

The combination could account for a quarter of UK and US book sales, reported The Financial Times on rumors of the impending deal. But the broader competition is with internet retailers like Apple and Amazon, the latter of which owns 90 percent of the UK…

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