Random House, Penguin merger wins EU antitrust approval

BRUSSELS Fri Apr 5, 2013 5:05pm BST

Penguin books are seen in a used bookshop in central London October 29, 2012. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Penguin books are seen in a used bookshop in central London October 29, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

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BRUSSELS (Reuters) - German media group Bertelsmann and British publisher Pearson secured unconditional EU regulatory clearance on Friday to merge their publishers Random House and Penguin to better compete with rivals Amazon and Apple.

The deal, announced in October, will create a publishing giant that will brings under one roof EL James, the author of best-selling "Fifty Shades of Grey", the 2012 literature Nobel prize winner Mo Yan and fantasy novelist Terry Pratchett.

The European Commission said it did not have any competition concerns over the deal, confirming a Reuters story dated March 27.

"The merged entity will continue to face several strong competitors," the EU competition watchdog said in a statement.

Antitrust regulators in the United States and New Zealand have already nodded the deal through while China, Canada and the Austrian media watchdog are also examining the proposed merger.

Random House, the biggest book publisher in the United States and Britain, has been lifted by the success of the "Fifty Shades" trilogy of novels. Penguin is the No. 2 player in the United States and third in Britain.

(Reporting by Foo Yun Chee)

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