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Bertelsmann to Buy Simon & Schuster for $2.18 Billion

  • CEO downplays possible antitrust issues in deal with ViacomCBS
  • Simon & Schuster to fit within Penguin Random House unit
Photographer: Chris Ratcliffe/Bloomberg
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German media giant Bertelsmann SE agreed to buy the Simon & Schuster book-publishing business from ViacomCBS Inc. for $2.18 billion, giving the company a much-larger role in the U.S. market.

The all-cash deal is expected to close next year, Bertelsmann said in a statement Wednesday. The acquisition adds heft to Bertelsmann’s publishing portfolio and fits with plans to expand the company’s Penguin Random House unit. Meanwhile, ViacomCBS sheds a noncore asset as it shifts its focus to streaming.