Stephen King, the king of horror, is expected to testify as the US Justice Department plans to ask a federal judge on Monday to block a $2.2 billion merger of two of the Big Five book publishers, Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster. according to Reuters.
The feds focus on advances paid to the most successful writers, especially those making $250,000 or more.
“The evidence will show that the proposed merger would likely result in authors of expected best-sellers receiving smaller advances, meaning authors who work for years on their manuscripts will be paid less for their efforts,” the Justice Department said in a brief before the trial. .
The department is also challenging the legality of the merger, which was announced in 2020 when Penguin Random House, the largest book publisher in the United States, said it planned to buy rival Simon & Schuster in November 2020. The feds filed their suit in 2021.