FTC challenges $6.3B Staples-Office Depot deal

8 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

F.T.C. Sues to Block Staples-Office Depot Deal.

OTTAWA — The Competition Bureau is challenging a proposed merger between Staples and Office Depot, saying the country’s office supplies industry is becoming too concentrated.The Federal Trade Commission filed suit on Monday to block the planned $6.3 billion combination of office supply companies, saying that it would significantly reduce competition in the market for consumable office supplies sold to large businesses. The federal agency has filed an application with the Competition Tribunal raising concerns over how dominant Staples would be if its proposed $6.3 billion (U.S.) acquisition of Office Depot is given approval.

The pair argue that competition has become even tougher since Office Depot and OfficeMax merged in 2013 and that the FTC is contradicting itself because it said that the office supply market was highly competitive two years ago. It says the impact wouldn’t just hit consumers, but also for-profit and not-for-profit businesses, governments, health care organizations and educational institutions representing more than $500 million in sales each year. The two companies announced plans to combine in February in a deal that was expected to be closely scrutinized by regulators concerned with antitrust issues.

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