News Corp is jumping into the bidding for Pearson’s Penguin book imprint, according to News Corp’s Sunday Times of London. News chairman and CEO Rupert Murdoch “has indicated he will make a substantial cash offer — thought to be about £1 billion ($1.6 billion) — for Penguin”, the Times said. An offer from News Corp could derail the planned merger of Penguin with Bertlesmann-owned Random House or ignite a bidding war. A combination of Penguin and HarperCollins would have an English-language book market share of 20%. A merger of Penguin and Random House would have about a 25%-30% market share. Publishers have been facing fierce competition from Amazon, Apple and Google in the e-book business.
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