LONDON — British publishing and education company Pearson PLC says it is in talks with German media group Bertelsmann SE over merging the firms' Penguin and Random House publishing operations.

Pearson said Thursday it "is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House" but added that there is no certainty the talks will lead to a transaction.

Pearson is publisher of the Financial Times and Penguin Group books. Bertelsmann's assets include the RTL Group television division and magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr.

The talks come at a time when the publishing industry is being buffeted by the growing e-book market.

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  • Darinstrauss

    RT @Shteyngart: .@Darinstrauss All these years of trying to please my German masters and now I have to learn Cockney? #RandomPenguin

  • Steve Weddle

    WINGMAN MT @victoriastrauss: Penguin already merged w/ Author Solutions. Name for the new company: Random Penguin Solutions. #randompenguin

  • Victoria Strauss

    The mascot possibilities are awesome. #randompenguin

  • Pam van Hylckama

    I propose this confused penguin doing a backwards Egyptian publishing ceremony dance as the #RandomPenguin logo.

  • BrianKeene

    On the positive side of #randompenguin, maybe royalty checks from Bantam would start arriving in a more timely manner.

  • Hilary Davidson

    #RandomPenguin is my favorite new hashtag. Hope real penguins are involved in the deal.

  • Christopher Munroe

    So... We have a major publishing house based on a Jim Carey movie no one watched now? #randompenguin

  • Γιάννης Πλιώτας

    #RandomPenguin And then, they may start merging some books. "Bared to you, cloud Atlas!", "50 shades of the winter of the world" etc.

  • Lauren Heeley

    Random House and Penguin are merging?! Not sure how I feel about this. Oh yeah. Not good. #PenguinHouse #RandomPenguin

  • Theresa Giacopasi

    #randompenguin is trending, so... people DO care about books?! Cancel everything, you guys! Party time!