Publisher’s Weekly has an article that “handicaps” the possible BN takeover of Borders. Before I talk about the article, I’ve heard that some agents and authors have been spreading some alarmist news that the takeover has already begun and that Borders employees are being laid off. Um, no. That is false. Moving on.
PW says that most publishers think that a BN takeover is not likely to happen for various reasons including costs and antitrust considerations. A lawyer familiar with past antitrust proceedings involving publishing, Andrew Berg head of the Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal antitrust division, stated that the current government is much more business friendly and was less likely to block these types of mergers. If a Democrat would enter office, however, this could change.
The article has some interesting theories on why the merger won’t happen and why it might. One theory not discussed is the “Failing Company” doctrine and that is if Borders is likely to close anyway, it could be a defense against attacks of the takeover. It’s a narrowly construed defense, but one that might exist.