Paramount has ended its agreement to sell Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House and will not appeal the recent federal court ruling blocking the merger of the publishing companies.
Penguin, a subsidiary of German media giant Bertelsmann, is obligated to pay Paramount, Simon & Schuster’s parent company, a $200 million termination fee, according to an SEC filing from Paramount. The proposed $2.17 billion deal was announced in November 2020.
In late October, US District Court Judge Florence Pan ruled the combination of the book publishing giants would illegally reduce competition. The Justice Department had sued about a year ago to stop the merger, one of the first major antitrust actions from the Biden administration.
In a statement, Paramount indicated it is still looking for buyers.
“Simon & Schuster is a highly valuable business…