Major Acquisitions in the U.S.

Doubleday Dell and RCA become part of Bertelsmann

Bertelsmann already has a strong footprint in the U.S. book market through its paperback imprint Bantam Books. The acquisition of Doubleday in 1986 offers an opportunity to cover the entire book business value chain in the world's biggest media market. Doubleday is a successful publishing group with numerous bestselling authors under contract, but is also a textbook and special-interest publisher with printing companies as well as various book clubs in the United States and Britain. Following the acquisition of Doubleday, Bertelsmann merges its American publishers into the new Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, which at the time is the biggest trade book publisher in the United States. Bertelsmann manages a second coup in the United States that same year when it takes over the traditional music business from RCA, whose artist roster includes Elvis Presley, Whitney Houston, the Eurythmics and Lionel Richie, as well as the pianist Arthur Rubinstein and the tenor Placido Domingo. The entire RCA Music Division is renamed the Bertelsmann Music Group, and in 1990 all of Bertelsmann’s other music companies are also integrated into it.