Merging two giant educational publishers was never going to be smooth sailing, but the process has been rockier than Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education expected.
When publishers Cengage and McGraw-Hill Education announced merger plans last May, they hoped to have the process wrapped up by the end of this March.
As that date fast approaches, it seems increasingly unlikely the companies will achieve their goal.
In an investor call last week, Michael Hansen, CEO of Cengage, said the publishers continue to “make good progress” on the merger, but he conceded that securing U.S. regulatory approval would require more time than anticipated.
The merger has faced fierce opposition from consumer advocacy groups, students and even college bookstores, but a fast-changing publishing environment and challenging negotiations have added complexity to the process.
Opponents to the merger worry the new mega-publisher, to be called McGraw Hill, will significantly reduce competition in the textbook market and enable the company to drive up prices. The publishers strongly refute this, saying the merger will enable them to pass on savings to students and make their products more affordable.