Stephen King Criticizes Simon & Schuster Deal in Antitrust Trial

Legendary author Stephen King testified on behalf of the government Tuesday in the antitrust trial that aims to block Penguin Random House from acquiring fellow publishing giant Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global.

The prolific author has long been aligned with Simon & Schuster. But he testified against the deal in Washington, D.C. federal court, supporting the government’s contention that the deal will hurt authors by limiting the market for new manuscripts.

“I came because I think that consolidation is bad for competition,” King testified before U.S. District Court Judge Florence J. Pan in the bench trial, according to the Associated Press. “It becomes tougher and tougher for writers to find money to live on.”

King disputed Penguin Random House’s contention that the acquisition would not result in the loss of an independent bidder because Simon & Schuster would operate autonomously from other publishing labels in Penguin’s groups.

“You might as well say you’re going to have a husband and wife bidding against each other for the same house,” King said, according to the AP. “It would be sort of very gentlemanly and sort of, ‘After you’ and ‘After you.”

King testified that the publishing landscape has changed dramatically since his career began in the mid-1970s with such best-selling books as “Carrie,” “The Shining” and “The Stand,” according to the AP.

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