Creation of the world’s leading consumer publisher is a step closer to reality. Pearson and Bertelsmann say the Justice Department has closed its review of the proposed merger of Penguin and Random House “without conditions”. Last October, Penguin’s owner Pearson and Random House owner Bertelsmann announced an agreement to join the two publishing houses. Under terms of the deal, Bertelsmann would own 53% and Pearson 47% of the new company, to be called Penguin Random House. The combined company would have about a 25%-30% share as the companies look to fend off competition in the e-book space. The proposed merger is still under review by the European Commission, the Canadian Competition Bureau and other groups. The publishers hope to close the deal later this year.