Updated ten minutes ago
As might be expected, Stephen King is an authority on the Stand. The author testified on behalf of the government in the antitrust case that will determine whether two of the nation's largest publishing houses may merge. King publicly criticized Penguin Random Houses' intention to purchase Simon & Schuster, for $2.2 billion. According to reporter John Maher, I came because I believe consolidation is dangerous for competition.
King: Yes. Govt: Why did you come here? That's my understanding of the book business, and I've been around it for 50 years."
Penguin Random House, the nation's largest publisher, was merged in 2013 as a result of the merger of Penguin and Random House. According to the court, acquiring Simon & Schuster would also result in a monopsony, which occurs when one buyer has a significant amount of market influence.
King compared the Big Five publishers of today, Penguin Random House, Harper Collins, Simon & Schuster, and Macmillan, to the competitive bidding environment of his early career. He explained that the competition for book rights has diminished as a result of the decline in publishing houses and that it is now more of an after you.
Penguin Random House has claimed that the merger would open the door to more competition. (According to Deadline, the publisher already permits internal competition when an outside bidder is involved.) However, the Department of Justice and its most well-known witness disagree with this claim.