In a hearing on December 14 before U.S. District Judge Florence Pan, attorneys for Penguin Random House and the Department of Justice agreed to an expedited schedule that sets August 1, 2022, as the start date for the DoJ’s case to block PRH’s acquisition of Simon & Schuster.

Among some of the key dates established is for discovery to begin December 15 of this year, with fact discovery scheduled to be finished by April 15 and expert discovery to be completed June 21. Pre-trial briefs are due July 15, and the pre-trial conference is planned for July 25.

On Monday, PRH filed its reply to the DoJ's lawsuit that looks to stop PRH's purchase of S&S. The reply attacks the government's primary charge that the purchase would “likely result in substantial harm to authors of anticipated top-selling books and ultimately, consumers.”

In a statement accompanying PRH's brief, PRH attorney Dan Petrocelli said the DOJ "wants to block the merger on the misguided theory it will diminish compensation to the highest paid authors. This is not only legally, factually, and economically wrong, but it also ignores the vast majority of authors who indisputably will benefit from the transaction. We are fully confident that this merger will only enhance competition across the entire spectrum of the publishing industry.”