Stephen King Testifies To Stop Two Publishing Houses from Merging

King is a revered authors in the world, with best-sellers like "The Shining," which was made into an acclaimed 1980 film, and "Carrie", his first published novel, sold in 1973 and made into a movie, a 1976. King has published nearly 100 and his latest comes out in September 2022, called "Fairy Tale."

Per the Associated Press, On August 2nd, King testified for the U.S. Justice Department Tuesday, arguing that a proposed merger between Penguin Random House and Simon & Schuster would hurt authors. To note here, Simon & Schuster is King's publisher, albeit, he decided to side with government, which has blocked Penguin Random House from buying Simon & Schuster last November. 

"You might as well say you're going to have a husband and wife bidding against each other for the same house," he said, per the AP. "It would be sort of very gentlemanly and sort of, 'After you' and 'After you.'"

King also cited that based on his experience, when he first started out, there were many publishing options, but now it is limited in New York to the "big five.". Those are Penguin Random House, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins Publishing, Hachette Book Group, and Macmillan.

There is a notion in the publishing world that they need to band together to compete with Amazon, Frank Foer wrote in The Atlantic in November 2020. The CEO of Simon & Schuster, Jonathan Karp, maintained under questioning it's still a competitive environment.

Earnings for more than half of authors fell below the US federal poverty line in 2015 according to an Authors Guild survey, per The Guardian.