“The merger would decrease competition, increase prices, and lock students into digital courseware that can gather vast amounts of their data,” said Nicole Allen, Director of Open Education for SPARC. “It flagrantly exceeds market share thresholds established under federal antitrust law. The textbook publishing industry engaged in unsustainable pricing for decades at the expense of students, and eliminating competition adds insult to injury. This merger should not be allowed to proceed.”
SPARC’s filing lays out how the merger would violate the Clayton Antitrust Act, creating a combined company that would control 45% of the college textbook market. Along with Pearson, which currently holds approximately 40%, this merger would consolidate the textbook market in the hands of only two players—remaking the market as a duopoly.