FTC Rejects Staples-Office Depot Merger, Again

20 Jan 2016 | Author: | No comments yet »

FTC Rejects Staples-Office Depot Deal Without a Counteroffer.

NEW YORK (AP) — Staples says that regulators have rejected its offer to sell $1.25 billion in contracts, part of its plan to ease monopoly fears as it attempts to acquire rival Office Depot. Earlier this month, the Federal Trade Commission went to court in an effort to block the pending merger of office-supply mega chains Staples and Office Depot, saying that it would result in too little competition in the market for supplies being sold to businesses.

Staples, based in Framingham, Massachusetts, said that it is still willing to negotiate with the FTC and that it may pursue legal action to close the deal. Seeking to mollify the FTC’s opposition to the deal, Staples had offered to sell off or give up $1.25 billion worth of commercial contracts, a bright spot in its otherwise pressured business. Staples highlighted in the press release, that its management and board of directors have worked with full dedication to complete the Office Depot acquisition.

A trial has been set for March 21 in Washington. “The company is confident in its legal position and looks forward to a full and impartial judicial review of the matter,” Staples said in the statement. Office Depot bought OfficeMax two years ago, reducing the Big Three in office supplies to the Big Two, at a time sales were in serious decline as rivals like Amazon.com AMZN 0.10% and Walmart WMT 0.14% among many others were stealing market share. FTC lawyer Tara Reinhart responded that the agency has told the companies that it’s concerned that they are merely transferring contracts and not divesting physical assets.

According to an Energy Information Administration (EIA) report, the energy-related carbon emissions in the US increased from 5,355 million metric tons (MMmt) in 2013 to 5,406 MMmt tons in 2014. At the time the deal was announced, the bid was worth $6.3 billion, but it has fallen significantly in value since then as Staples shares have fallen.

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Sunedison’s shares, which have consistently shown a declining trend following the company’s third-quarter earnings release, have shown some momentum. Jim Chanos recently also said that while he expects the solar industry to grow in the coming years, he would want to borrow more of SolarCity stock to short it. He believes the company to be a subprime financing company, and isn’t entirely satisfied with the $500 million cash the company is burning per quarter.

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