Competition watchdog seeks public feedback on Times Publishing's deal to buy Penguin Random House units

Penguin books are seen in a used bookshop in London, Britain.
Penguin books are seen in a used bookshop in London, Britain.PHOTO: REUTERS

SINGAPORE - The Competition Commission of Singapore (CCS) is conducting a public consultation to invite feedback on the proposal by Times Publishing Ltd (TPL) to buy the Singapore and Malaysian distribution arms of international book publisher Penguin Random House.

Penguin Random House, which is incorporated in the United Kingdom, carries out sales and distribution in Singapore and Malaysia through Penguin Random House Pte Ltd and Penguin Random House Sdn Bhd respectively.

After its proposed sale to Fraser & Neave-owned TPL for S$8 million, those units will enter into an exclusive distribution agreement with Penguin Books, The Random House Group, Dorling Kindersley and Penguin Random House for their English book titles and for products containing the publishers' brands in Singapore and Malaysia.

CCS said in a statement on Friday (Jan 20) that TPL has applied for its decision on whether the deal will infringe the prohibition in the Competition Act against anti-competitive merger. TPL also cited several reasons why it thinks the transaction is not anti-competitive.

The deadline for the feedback submissions is Feb 6, 2017.

More information on the public consultation can be accessed and downloaded from the CCS website at www.ccs.gov.sg under the section "Public Register and Consultation".