DoJ Approves RH, Penguin Merger

The merger of Random House and Penguin came one step closer to completion last week when the U.S. Department of Justice gave its approval to the deal, without asking for any conditions.

Macmillan Settles Price-Fixing Claims

Macmillan has agreed to pay up to $20 million to settle price-fixing suits filed by a group of states’ attorneys general and a consolidated consumer class action.

Sales Up, Profits Down at S&S

Simon & Schuster finished 2012 with a bump in sales to $790 million from $787 million in 2011, but operating income dipped to $80 million from $83 million due in part to costs associated with settling three e-book price-fixing cases brought by the Department of Justice, 49 states, and a consumer class action. Digital sales represented 23% of total sales, up from 17% in 2011.

Nook Losses to Exceed 2012

After a disappointing holiday season when Nook device sales failed to meet expectations, B&N reported last week that Nook EBITDA loss for the company’s fiscal year ending in April will be greater than in fiscal 2012, when the unit had an EBITDA loss of $262 million. The company also said sales of the Nook segment and college stores (Nook Media) would not hit a previous target of $3 billon.

Harry Potter’s New Look

It’s been nearly 15 years since U.S. readers first met Harry Potter and traveled with him to Hogwarts via J.K. Rowling’s now-classic series. To mark this milestone, Scholastic will be publishing seven all-new covers for its U.S. trade paperback editions this September, and last week revealed the first one, for Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

New Books From AMP

Andrews McMeel Publishing plans to publish Desmond Pucket, a hardcover illustrated kids story and activity book by cartoonist Mark Tatulli, and a new parody of Downtown Abbey TV Show, Agent Gates and the Secret Adventures of Devonton Abbey.