Penguin Random House LLC
Company typeSubsidiary
FoundedJuly 1, 2013; 11 years ago (2013-07-01)
HeadquartersRandom House Tower, ,
Area served
Key people
RevenueIncrease€4 billion (2021)
Number of employees
10,000 (as of July 1, 2013)
ParentBertelsmann Edit this at Wikidata
Footnotes / references

Penguin Random House LLC is an Anglo-American multinational conglomerate publishing company formed on July 1, 2013, with the merger of Penguin Books and Random House.[2][3] Penguin Books was originally founded in 1935[4] and Random House was founded in 1927.[5] It has more than 300 publishing imprints. Along with Simon & Schuster, Hachette, HarperCollins and Macmillan Publishers, Penguin Random House is considered one of the 'Big Five' English language publishers.

On April 2, 2020, Bertelsmann announced the completion of its purchase of Penguin Random House, which had been announced in December 2019, by buying Pearson plc's 25% ownership of the company. With the purchase, Bertelsmann became the sole owner of Penguin Random House. Bertelsmann's German-language publishing group Verlagsgruppe Random House will be completely integrated into Penguin Random House, adding 45 imprints to the company, for a total of 365 imprints.[6]

As of 2021, Penguin Random House employed about 10,000 people globally and published 15,000 titles annually under its 250 divisions and imprints.[7] These titles include fiction and nonfiction for adults and children in both print and digital. Penguin Random House comprises Penguin and Random House in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Portugal, and India; Penguin in Brazil, Asia and South Africa; Dorling Kindersley worldwide; and Random House's companies in Spain, Hispanic America, and Germany.[8][9]

On November 25, 2020, The New York Times reported that Penguin Random House was planning to purchase Simon & Schuster from Paramount Global for $2.175 billion.[10] However, on November 2, 2021, the U.S. Department of Justice sued to stop the deal on antitrust grounds, a suit that eventually succeeded on October 31, 2022.[11][12] The deal formally collapsed on November 22, 2022.[13]

Random House Tower, New York


Penguin Random House was formed on July 1, 2013 by Markus Dohle upon the completion of a £2.4 million transaction between Bertelsmann and Pearson to merge their respective trade publishing companies, Random House and Penguin Group. Bertelsmann and Pearson, the parent companies, initially owned 53% and 47%, respectively.[14] Jane Ciabattari of Library Journal has referred to this merger as the publishing industry's response to the increasing dominance of in the book market.[15]Dohle was named CEO of the new company, which had more than 10,000 employees worldwide with more than 250 imprints and publishing houses and a publishing list of more than 15,000 new titles a year.[7][9][16] Penguin Random House relaunched Book Country, Penguin's online writing community, on July 29, 2013.[17] On September 24, 2014, Random House Studio signed a first-look production deal with Universal Pictures, under which Random House would be the producer of films based on Penguin Random House books. The Universal subsidiary Focus Features has frequently collaborated with Random House Films.[18] Having previously created Puffin Rock animation, Richard Haines was chosen to head Penguin Random House Children's TV development strategy with the assistance of licensing, publishing, and TV development executive Emily Campan.[19]

In November 2015, Pearson announced it would rebrand to focus on its education division.[20] On July 11, 2017, Pearson sold 22% of its stake in the business to Bertelsmann, thereby retaining a 25% holding.[21][22] On December 18, 2019, Bertelsmann agreed to acquire Pearson's 25% stake in Penguin Random House,[23] making it a wholly owned subsidiary of Bertelsmann. The sale was completed on April 2, 2020.[6] In June 2020, Penguin Random House became part of a group of publishers who sued the Internet Archive, arguing that its collection of e-books was denying authors and publishers revenue and accusing the library of "willful mass copyright infringement".[24][25]

On November 25, 2020, Penguin Random House agreed to purchase American publisher Simon & Schuster from ViacomCBS for $2.175 billion, with a formal regulatory approval process to follow the purchase agreement.[26] On November 2, 2021, the US Justice Department filed a civil antitrust lawsuit to block Penguin Random House's proposed acquisition of Simon & Schuster, alleging that the acquisition would create a publisher with too much influence over books and author payments.[27] In October 2022, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled in favor of the Justice Department.[28] On November 21, 2022, Penguin Random House officially scrapped the deal. As a result, it was to pay a $200 million termination fee to the recently-rebranded Paramount Global.[29] Simon & Schuster would instead be sold to Kohlberg Kravis Roberts on October 30, 2023.[30]

In July 2024, it was announced that Penguin Random House would acquire comic book publisher Boom! Studios.[31]

Divisions and imprints


See also: Dorling Kindersley

DK (Dorling Kindersley) was founded in London in 1974 and is a reference publisher focusing on non-fiction for adults and children.[citation needed]

As of 2015, DK also has official publishing relationships with Angry Birds, Lego, Marvel, Star Wars, and Disney.[32][better source needed]

Crown Publishing Group

See also: Crown Publishing Group

Crown Publishing was founded in 1933 as the Outlet Book Company, a remainder house, and is now a publisher of fiction and narrative non-fiction.[33] In 2018, Crown was combined with the main Random House Publishing Group.[34]

Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group

Penguin Publishing Group

See also: Penguin Publishing Group

Penguin Young Readers Group

Penguin Young Readers Group is a division devoted to books for young readers and young adults.

Random House Publishing Group

Random House Children's Books

Penguin Random House Digital Publishing Group

Penguin Random House International

Penguin Random House Publisher Services

Handling distribution and marketing for Shambhala Publications, National Geographic Books, Wizards of the Coast, Kodansha USA (including Vertical Inc.), New York Review Books, Titan Books, Other Press, North Atlantic Books, Blue Star Press, DC Comics, Seven Seas Entertainment, and Dark Horse Comics among others.

It also handles direct market distribution for Marvel Comics starting October 1, 2021,[52] direct market distribution for IDW Publishing starting June 1, 2022,[53] and direct market distribution for Dark Horse Comics starting June 1, 2023.[54]

Ebury Publishing

See also: Ebury Publishing


Book Country

Book Country was a subsidiary online writing and publishing community.[55] Book Country was launched in April 2011 with a focus on romance, mystery, science fiction, fantasy. On July 29, 2013, Book Country relaunched with online writing workshops in more than 60 literary categories, including literary fiction, memoir, and women's fiction.[17] As of September 2013, the site had more than 10,000 members.[56] As of November 2020, the site is no longer operational.


  1. ^ Milliot, Jim (March 31, 2022). "PRH Had a Record Year in 2021". Publishers Weekly.
  2. ^ Calamur, Krishnadev (October 29, 2012). "Penguin, Random House Announce Merger". NPR. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  3. ^ "Pearson, Bertelsmann Confirm Publishing Tie-Up". NPR. October 29, 2012. Archived from the original on October 31, 2012. Retrieved October 31, 2012.
  4. ^ jaaronson (June 2, 2021). "Welcome to Penguin: We Are What You Read". Penguin Books. Retrieved June 9, 2023.
  5. ^ "Company history | Penguin Random House". Retrieved June 9, 2023.
  6. ^ a b Maher, John (April 2, 2020). "Bertelsmann Now Owns 100% of Penguin Random House". Publishers Weekly.
  7. ^ a b Sweney, Mark (March 22, 2021). "UK watchdog investigates Penguin owner's Simon & Schuster takeover". The Guardian. Retrieved November 24, 2021.
  8. ^ "Welcome to Penguin Random House". April 1, 2015. Retrieved July 5, 2020.
  9. ^ a b "CEO Markus Dohle Announces Penguin Random House Global Leadership Team" (PDF). Penguin Random House. July 1, 2013. Retrieved January 22, 2016.
  10. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Lee, Edmund (November 25, 2020). "Penguin Random House to Buy Simon & Schuster". The New York Times. Retrieved November 30, 2020.
  11. ^ Brian Stelter (November 2, 2021). "Justice Department sues to stop Penguin Random House's purchase of Simon & Schuster". CNN. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  12. ^ Alter, Alexandra; Harris, Elizabeth A. (October 31, 2022). "Judge Blocks a Merger of Big Publishers". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 31, 2022.
  13. ^ Harris, Elizabeth A.; Alter, Alexandra; Mullin, Benjamin (November 21, 2022). "A Huge Merger's Collapse Breaks a Pattern of Consolidation in Publishing". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved December 29, 2022.
  14. ^ "Penguin and Random House complete merger". The Telegraph. February 9, 2017. Archived from the original on January 12, 2022.
  15. ^ Ciabattari, Jane (2013). "Now There Are 5". Library Journal. 138 (14). Media Source Inc.: 26–29.
  16. ^ a b c "Imprints | Penguin Random House". Retrieved April 9, 2016.
  17. ^ a b Charman-Anderson, Suw (July 29, 2013). "Book Country: Developing Authors And Audiences". Forbes.
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  19. ^ Whittock, Jesse (November 30, 2015). "Penguin Random House makes TV play". TBI Magazine. Informa Telecoms & Media. Retrieved February 8, 2016.
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  23. ^ Spahr, Wolfgang (December 18, 2019). "BMG Parent Bertelsmann to Acquire Full Stake in Penguin Random House". Billboard.
  24. ^ Harris, Elizabeth A. (June 1, 2020). "Publishers Sue Internet Archive Over Free E-Books". The New York Times. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
  25. ^ Text of Hachette Book Group, Inc. v. Internet Archive is available from: CourtListener 
  26. ^ Whitten, Sarah (November 25, 2020). "ViacomCBS Sells Simon & Schuster to Penguin Random House for $2 billion". CNBC. Retrieved November 28, 2020.
  27. ^ Kendall, Brent; Trachtenburg, Jeffrey A. (November 2, 2021). "Justice Department Sues to Block Penguin Random House's Acquisition of Simon & Schuster". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  28. ^ "Office of Public Affairs - Justice Department Obtains Permanent Injunction Blocking Penguin Random House's Proposed Acquisition of Simon & Schuster - United States Department of Justice". October 31, 2022. Retrieved June 22, 2024.
  29. ^ "Penguin scraps $2.2bn deal to buy rival publisher". BBC News. November 22, 2022. Retrieved November 22, 2022.
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  31. ^ Gajewski, Ryan (July 10, 2024). "Penguin Random House to Acquire Boom! Studios". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 10, 2024.
  32. ^ "About DK". DK Publishing. Retrieved April 8, 2016.
  33. ^ McDowell, Edwin (February 8, 1990). "Nat Wartels, 88, the Chairman Of the Crown Publishing Empire". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved April 4, 2016.
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  39. ^ Brown, Lauren (June 28, 2023). "Penguin Random House unveils new pop-comics imprint to publish manga and more". The Bookseller. Retrieved June 28, 2023.
  40. ^ Grobar, Matt (April 7, 2022). "Sugar23 & Random House Partner To Launch Co-Branded Publishing Imprint Sugar23 Books". Deadline. Retrieved April 18, 2022.
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  52. ^ Schedeen, Jesse (March 25, 2021). "Marvel Comics Shifts to New Distributor in Industry-Rattling Move". IGN. Retrieved March 25, 2021.
  53. ^ "IDW Publishing Expands Partnership with Penguin Random House Publisher Services in an Exclusive Multi-Year Agreement to Distribute IDW Comics Worldwide". IDW Publishing. September 17, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2022.
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Further reading