Publishing industry experts were saying that the merger of big six publishers Penguin and Random House in October was likely the first of several. It looks like they may have been correct. News Corp., the owner of publishing giant Harper Collins is rumored to have entered into preliminary merger talks with fellow giant Simon & Schuster. If successful, it’s believed the joint venture would give the companies more leverage in their dealings with booksellers, particularly with the digital giants such as Amazon and Google.
At this point, no deal is imminent, but News Corp. is known to be looking for a partner. They tried unsuccessfully to merge with Penguin, but their rumored last-minute $1.6-billion bid for the publisher was rejected in favor of the deal with Random House. If News Corp. is successful in merging with Simon & Schuster, the “Big Six” would become the “Big Four.” Then Vegas would start taking bets on how long until we hear about a Macmillan and Hachette merger.