Stephen King testified Tuesday against his own publisher, Simon & Schuster, in a major antitrust trial.
The horror author was the star witness for the government in a lawsuit against the proposed merger of Penguin Random House and rival publisher Simon & Schuster, The Associated Press reported.
The Department of Justice is suing to block the proposed $2.2 billion merger, which would bring the “Big Five” book publishers down to four, according to The Associated Press.
The government argues that the merger would create less competition in the publishing market, leading to fewer options for consumers and potentially leading to authors being paid less.
“The evidence will show that the proposed merger would likely result in authors of anticipated top-selling books receiving smaller advances, meaning authors who labor for years over their manuscripts will be paid less for their efforts,” the government argued in a brief, per Reuters.
King has been outspoken about his disapproval of the merger, tweeting last year, “The more the publishers consolidate, the harder it is for indie publishers to survive.”
While on the stand, King stated that “consolidation is bad for the competition.” He also talked about the difficulties to earn a living that authors experience in the publishing industry today.
“It’s a tough world out there now. That’s why I came,” he said, according to Deadline.
The trial is expected to last two to three weeks, according to Reuters.