The Acquisition of Random House

Bertelsmann becomes the largest trade book publisher in the English-speaking world.

In March 1998, Bertelsmann takes over Random House, the largest trade book publisher in the English-speaking world. Its authors include classics like William Faulkner, Truman Capote, John Irving, Philip Roth, Norman Mailer and John Updike, as well as best-selling authors such as John Le Carré, Michael Crichton, Salman Rushdie, Anne Rice, and Margaret Atwood. Personalities of contemporary history including Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter and Pope John Paul II also publish their books here. At the time, Random House authors had won more Literature Nobel Prizes and Pulitzers than the authors of any other publishing group. The proportion of Random House titles in the bestseller lists of the “New York Times” regularly tops 20 percent. Random House also includes other publishing groups in Canada, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand and South Africa. All of them are merged with the Bantam Doubleday Dell publishers, which already belong to Bertelsmann. From 2001, Random House is the shared name of Bertelsmann’s global book publishing activities. At the end of November 2003, the acquisition of Heyne Verlag in Germany brings other best-selling authors such as John Grisham and Stephen King to Bertelsmann.