Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Pearson plc is a London-based media conglomerate. It is the largest book publisher in the UK, India, Australia and New Zealand, and the second largest in the US and Canada. In 2003 it had sales of £4,048m ($7,246m) and operating profits of £490m ($877m).
Pearson started as a building and engineering company in 1844. By 1920, under the name S. Pearson & Son, it was a holding company with businesses in building, oil drilling and refining and finance. In 1920, it purchased a number of local newspapers in Britain, which it combined to form the Westminster Press. In 1957, it bought the Financial Times and a 50% stake in The Economist. In 1968, it purchased the publisher Longman, and in 1971, Penguin Group.
At the end of the 1980s Pearson participated in the British Satellite Broadcasting consortium. BSB, choosing expensive methods and technology, was superseded by Rupert Murdoch's Sky Television which used proven technology and leased transponders on Astra satellites. This allowed Sky to gain an important foothold in the multichannel market and the eventual "merger" was effectively a takeover by Sky, the new company was renamed British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) in late 1990.
During the 1990s Pearson acquired a number of TV production and broadcasting assets, and rid itself of most of its non-media assets.
- Book Publishing: Penguin, Allen Lane , Avery, Berkley Books, Dial , Dutton, Dorling Kindersley, Grosset & Dunlap , Hamish Hamilton , Ladybird, Plume , Puffin, Putnam, Michael Joseph , Riverhead, Rough Guides , Viking
- Educational Publishing: Prentice Hall, Scott Foresman, Allyn & Bacon, Addison-Wesley, Longman, Macmillan USA, NCS Pearson, Adobe Press, Que, Cisco Press, New Riders, Peachpit Press, National Computer Systems, Learning Network, LessonLab
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