HarperCollins Buys Thomas Nelson, Will Control 50% of Christian Publishing Market

Where will Thomas Nelson fit in Murdoch's empire, which already includes Zondervan?

HarperCollins Publishers today announced it was buying Christian/inspirational publisher Thomas Nelson "for an undisclosed sum." It's a huge move since the company will now reportedly control about half of the Christian publishing market.

The question now is how the acquisition will play with Zondervan, Thomas Nelson's chief competition. HarperCollins, which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation, acquired Zondervan in 1988. (It also owns religion and spirituality imprint HarperOne.) Thomas Nelson says it is reportedly the largest Christian publisher in the world and the seventh largest trade-book publisher in the United States. Zondervan says it is the world's leading Bible publisher.

In 2009, then-Thomas Nelson CEO Michael Hyatt reported that his publisher and Zondervan control half of the Christian publishing market–a percentage that had held relatively steady over the previous few years.

It's been a long road for Thomas Nelson, which ...

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