The UK’s competitors Competitors and Markets Authority has launched an investigation into the acquisition of Simon & Schuster by Penguin Random Home proprietor Bertelsmann.

The $2.2 billion acquisition of Simon & Schuster was agreed final 12 months after Bertelsmann outbid Rupert Murdoch’s Information Corp, a transfer that Penguin hoped would strengthen its US presence. If accomplished, Simon & Schuster will proceed to be managed as a separate publishing unit beneath Penguin Random Home.

The merger is the second main deal by CEO Thomas Rabe since Bertelsmann took management of Penguin Random Home from Pearson. Rabe mentioned that the corporate entity fashioned by the Simon & Schuster merger would have a share of lower than 20% within the US market, making the transfer “approvable”.

Issues over the deal have been raised by US writers’ teams together with the Authors Guild, who known as for the Division of Justice to block it. The Guild warned that the businesses’ merger would carry “properly greater than half of key US e book markets beneath the management of a single company,” probably posing a menace to “freedom of speech and democracy in the US”.

Information Corp CEO Robert Thomson has additionally criticised the deal as working on “anti-market logic” that might create “a e book behemoth”.

Corporations can be invited to touch upon the CMA’s investigation as much as 7 April, after which the physique will make a section one resolution on 19 Could.

“Now we have notified the acquisition of Simon and Schuster to the UK Competitors and Markets Authority as is regular in such circumstances and we’re working with the CMA in its evaluate,” a Penguin Random Home UK spokesperson mentioned in a press release.

Penguin is the world’s largest commerce publishing group, with greater than 15,000 new publications and greater than 600 million books bought every year.