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US student groups urge government to block Cengage and McGraw-Hill merger

In the US, more than 40 college student organisations are urging the Department of Justice (DoJ) to block the proposed merger of educational publishers Cengage and McGraw-Hill, reports the Bookseller.

In a letter to the DoJ, the student bodies said the proposed merger ‘threatens to consolidate more power in the grasp of a handful of publishers, who have used their enormous market share to drive up prices for consumers over the course of the past few decades’, citing that five publishers—Pearson, Macmillan, Wiley, McGraw-Hill and Cengage—control 80% of the US college textbook market.

‘Because there are so few publishers … the normal rules of supply and demand have broken down … To maintain profit margins, publishers have put out custom or frequent new editions to make it difficult to find a used book for our classes, and have transitioned to offering expiring materials like access codes to eliminate the used market entirely,’ the student bodies wrote.

A spokesperson for Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education said the companies are working closely with the DoJ on the review of the transaction, which is expected to close by early 2020, and they ‘remain confident that the transaction will benefit our customers’.


Category: International news