The owners of Penguin and Random House are in talks about merging their publishing arms to create the world's biggest books publisher.
A merger would bring together two of the world's "big six" publishers to create a new powerhouse that would publish 25% of all books sold in the UK.
A Pearson spokesman confirmed the merger talks were active, but said the companies "have not reached agreement, and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction".
Analysts have long predicted a further round of consolidation in the book trade, which is dominated by HarperCollins, Random House, Hachette, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan and Penguin. The industry has changed rapidly in recent years following the introduction of ebook readers and mass-market selling via supermarkets.
Read more: Penguin and Random House in merger talks: