British publisher Pearson said Thursday that it was in talks with German media giant Bertelsmann over a potential merger of their respective consumer publishing divisions Penguin and Random House. \"Pearson notes recent media coverage regarding Penguin and Random House (part of Bertelsmann),\" it said in a brief statement. \"Pearson confirms that it is discussing with Bertelsmann a possible combination of Penguin and Random House. \"The two companies have not reached agreement and there is no certainty that the discussions will lead to a transaction. A further announcement will be made if and when appropriate.\" The statement was prompted by an article in the Pearson-owned Financial Times, which reported on its website that the two companies were seeking to combine the publishing units to create a global market leader.