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OFT mulls Pearson’s Harcourt buy

The Bookseller’s Alison Bone reports that the Office of Fair Trading is considering whether Pearson Education‘s $950 million acquisition of Harcourt Education from Reed Elsevier will result in “a substantial lessening of competition” in the UK’s educational publishing market. The deal, unveiled in May, gives Pearson Education about 23% of the UK schools market, more than former market leaders Oxford University Press and Nelson Thornes.

The OFT is asking for representations from interested parties by 4th July. If it finds the deal has created a “relevant merger situation”, it will then consider whether the deal could “result in a substantial lessening of competition” in the UK, and if it should be referred to the Competition Commission for further investigation.

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