Testimony & Letters

Open Markets, Authors Guild, and PEN America Sign Letter Calling DOJ to Block Merger of Dominant Printers

March 6, 2019

Open Markets sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) calling for the DOJ to block printer Quad/Graphics’ (Quad) plan to buy its biggest competitor, LSC Communications (LSC), for $1.4 billion. The letter, signed by Open Markets, the Authors Guild, PEN America, and addressed to Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, explains how the combination of Quad and LSC is a merger-to-monopoly in the long-run magazine printing market and an anticompetitive merger in the book printing market.

The letter includes in-depth explanations as to why the two companies are duopolists and face few other competitors; how they are the only printers of long-run magazines; how their integration into magazine distribution raises vertical competition concerns; why competitors are unlikely to enter the magazine or book printing markets to challenge Quad or LSC; how they are the only realistic printers of major trade books and culminating in why the DOJ should block the merger.

The letter from Open Markets, the Authors Guild and PEN America emphasizes to the DOJ that the Quad-LSC merger-to-monopoly completely fails to satisfy a “failing firm defense,” as laid out in the DOJ’s Horizontal Merger Guidelines. What the merger would do is to make it even more expensive and more difficult for American citizens to disseminate ideas and opinions. As such, the merger is a clear and present threat to American democracy and must be blocked.

Read the full letter here.