The Random House publishing group has its roots in the traditional publisher C. Bertelsmann Verlag, which was founded in Gütersloh in 1835. Gütersloher Verlagshaus still continues the theological publishing tradition of Bertelsmann there, which is now over 170 years old. In 1968, the eleven general-interest and special-interest publishing companies were combined to form the Bertelsmann publishing group. These now include Goldmann, Heyne, Blessing, Blanvalet, Knaus, Luchterhand, Siedler, btb, Manesse, DVA, Gütersloher Verlagshaus and of course C. Bertelsmann.
In 1972, Bertelmann’s general-interest publishers initially moved from Gütersloh to Munich. Blanvalet was taken over in 1974, and just a few years later, in 1977, Goldmann publishing house also became part of the Bertelsmann group. In 1980, Bertelsmann acquired Bantam Books, a paperback publisher in the USA. Doubleday publishers followed suit in 1986. From then on, the two US publishing companies traded under the name Bantam Doubleday Dell. When Bertelsmann took over well-respected US publisher Random House in 1998, it was merged with Bantam Doubleday Dell, resulting in a new international publishing group called Random House, Inc. The Bertelsmann group in Munich has also used this name since 2001, and the name has grown through the acquisitions of Heyne publishing house in 2003 and of DVA, Manesse and Kösel in 2005. Further milestones included buying Prestel publishing house as well as the imprints Ariston, Diederichs, Irisiana, Kailash and Sphinx belonging to Heinrich Hugendubel Verlag in 2008, and Hörverlag, a publishing house for audio books in 2010.
The Random House publishing group currently includes 45 book publishers that publish works of fiction and non-fiction, books for children and adolescents, books on theology, self-help books, audio books and e-books.