Monday, 29 October 2012

Is the Random/Penguin Merger Just the Start?

Over the weekend there were a few media discussions about the potential merger between Random House and Penguin Group.

Early today (Monday) the merger was confirmed, read the details from Random House here.

"The new name will be Penguin Random House. Until the closing, the companies will maintain their current separate operations and continue conducting business independently."

 (If only they'd gone for Random Penguin :-) )

While they've agreed, the regulatory authorities will be sure to look at whether there is any competition conflict. If they decide to look into it, that will delay the completion of the merger; but no doubt the owners of the two groups (Bertelsmann, and Pearson) knew it was likely and will no doubt progress with the rest of their plans in the meantime.

Though I can understand why they've chosen this route.

Apart they are not only competing again Amazon and Apple, but also against each other. While books are selling, the digital side of the market is going full steam and they're still playing catch up...

Like any company (whatever the industry) mergers mean changes. There are bound to be areas where downsizing will happen, so it's going to create worry for some employees.

Marjorie Scardino, chief executive of Pearson, said " "... Together, the two publishers will be able to share a large part of their costs, to invest more for their author and reader constituencies and to be more adventurous in trying new models in this exciting, fast-moving world of digital books and digital readers.” "

(author and reader constituencies?) I'm always suspicious when any executive starts talking shorthand, it makes me think they're glossing over less than pleasant facts- but that's just my personal opinion.

There's been years of small publishing companies being bought up and merged to form these big publishing groups, now they're cannibalising themselves.

Small independent presses are flourishing and getting authors nominated for high profile awards. So perhaps they are where new authors should be aiming their submissions?

I wonder how long it will be before the big six become the big three? And from there, two, or even perhaps one, so they can compete size wise with Amazon?

2013 will certainly be interesting...


Teresa Ashby said...

Interesting times! I must agree - they should have gone for Random Penguin! x

Maxi said...

It shall certainly be interesting...And another vote here for 'Random Penguin'

Patsy said...

Random Penguin would have been far better.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

I think we'll need to wait and see what it means for authors - and hope it's positive!

Carolb said...

Thanks for your comments, ladies.

Perhaps one day in the future they will announce themselves as 'Random Penguin'... :D

I certainly agree with you, Rosemary, I hope it's good for the authors too.