The owners of the two companies, Pearson and Bertelsmann, this week agreed to combine their publishing assets, in a £2.4bn deal that will make Penguin Random House the world’s biggest book publisher.
Mr Murdoch’s News Corporation, owner of rival Harper Collins, was apparently looking to scupper the tie-up with a last-minute £1bn bid approach for Penguin. Pearson and Bertlesmann said they are confident that the deal will win competition approval and pledged to retain their editorial independence.
But Mr Murdoch said: “Two publishers trying to contract while saying the opposite. Let’s hear from authors and agents.”