Media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp has made a bid for American publishing house Simon & Schuster, which is famous for publishing tell-all books about U.S. President Donald Trump. The reason behind Murdoch’s attempt to buy the book publisher is drawing attention as the media mogul is known for President Trump’s long-time friend.
More than six bidders, including Penguin Random House, the biggest publisher in the U.S., and French firm Vivendi as well as News Corp have joined bids for Simon & Schuster, according to The New York Times on Tuesday (local time). ViacomCBS, the owner of Simon & Schuster, put it up for sale in March this year. Founded in 1924, Simon & Schuster currently has some 1,350 employees and publishes about 2,000 books a year.
The highest acquisition price that has been submitted so far is 1.7 billion dollars, according to sources who spoke on condition of anonymity. ViacomCBS will decide a winner after receiving offers until Thanksgiving Day, which falls on Nov. 26.
A raft of books published by Simon & Schuster include “The Room Where It Happened” by former National Security Advisor John Bolton, “Too Much and Never Enough” by Trump’s niece Mary Trump, who is on bad terms with her uncle, and “Rage” by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward. These books are all critical of President Trump.
On the other hand, Murdoch is one of President Trump’s longtime allies, who have publicly supported the president since the 2016 presidential election. He also talked to the president every week on the phone and reportedly advised him to focus on the economy. He is also the owner of pro-Trump media outlets Fox News and The New York Post.
Murdoch’s interest in the acquisition of Simon & Schuster can be seen as a way to survive in the publishing market by increasing its size. NYT said book publishers are increasing their size in order to compete with Amazon, which is virtually dominating online book distribution with its aggressive pricing. The acquisition is also thought to be aimed at making a more competitive bid for Trump’s future memoir.