Penguin Random House merger approved

The Big Six is now the Big Five, which somehow just doesn’t have the same ring to it. The deal sailed through the regulatory approval process in all the countries that had a say in it. The New York Times gives this picture of publishing’s new behemoth:

The new company would have more than 10,000 employees, 250 independent publishing imprints and about $3.9 billion in annual revenues.

Executives say no layoffs are planned, but as the new company starts eliminating redundancies and streamlining procedures, attrition is bound to happen one way or another.

On the one hand, there are efficiencies of scale to be had in large corporate structures. On the other, I’m not convinced that bigger is better in the new publishing landscape. Publishing companies now need to be nimble, and large corporations rarely are.

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