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Stephen King to Testify in Book Publishing Antitrust Trial

Best-selling author Stephen King will testify in an antitrust lawsuit against Penguin Random House LLC to block its acquisition of Simon & Schuster Inc. for $2.18 billion.

According to court filings, King is being called as a witness in federal court in Washington about his experiences selling anticipated best-sellers.

Prosecutors expect the author of horror classics including “Carrie” and “The Shining” to discuss publishers who successfully purchase rights for anticipated best-sellers and how the proposed deal might affect the markets.

It argued in its original complaint that the acquisition would eliminate competition between Bertelsmann SE’s Penguin and Viacom’s Simon & Schuster for publishing rights. As a result of decreased competition, prosecutors claim that advances for authors will be lower, and consumers will have fewer and fewer choice response, Penguin Random House argued that the deal would increase income for authors and give consumers more choices and more choices for consumers.

Trial is scheduled for Aug. 1 and will last three weeks. US District Judge Florence Pan, who was nominated to the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, said she expects to issue her decision before assuming the new post.

 

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