The European Union cleared the planned merger
between Britain's Penguin Books and German-owned Random House on
Friday, as the bloc's executive found that the merged entity would
still face strong market competition.
"The (European) Commission found that the transaction would not raise competition concerns, in particular because the merged entity will continue to face several strong competitors," it said in a statement.
The deal, which is reportedly worth 2.4 billion pounds (3.6 billion dollars), would create the world's biggest consumer book publishing business, according to Germany's Bertelsmann SE and Pearson Plc in Britain.
The new entity, Penguin Random House, would be one of several companies operating in the market for authors' rights for English language books, as well as in the market selling such books within the European Economic Area, the commission said.
The commission also found "no evidence that the transaction would lead to risks of coordination among publishers" in either of these fields.
The EU executive was also confident that the merger would not negatively impact third party book distribution services or the book production market, where there were "many alternative suppliers."
Bertelsmann, owner of Random House, welcomed the decision as a "further important step" towards completing the merger, which was approved by the US Department of Justice on February 14, as well as by Australian and New Zealand authorities.
Anti-competition authorities in other parts of the world still had to give the deal their blessing, Bertelsmann added.
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