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Staples/Office Depot, In the Matter of

The FTC issued an administrative complaint and authorized staff to seek a preliminary injunction to enjoin the transaction pending the results of the administrative proceeding, charging that Staples, Inc.’s proposed $6.3 billion acquisition of Office Depot, Inc. would  significantly reduce competition nationwide in the market for “consumable” office supplies sold to large business customers for their own use. The complaint alleges that, in competing for contracts, both Staples and Office Depot can provide the low prices, nationwide distribution and combination of services and features that many large business customers require. The complaint further alleges that, by eliminating the competition between Staples and Office Depot, the transaction would lead to higher prices and reduced quality, and that entry or expansion into the market – by other office supplies vendors, manufacturers, wholesalers, or online retailers – would not be timely, likely, or sufficient to counteract the anticompetitive effects of the merger. On May 19, 2016, Staples and Office Depot abandoned their proposed merger after the district court granted the Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction. FTC dismissed the case from administrative trial process.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
151 0065
Docket Number
9367

Staples/Office Depot

The FTC issued an administrative complaint and authorized staff to seek a preliminary injunction to enjoin the transaction pending the results of the administrative proceeding, charging that Staples, Inc.’s proposed $6.3 billion acquisition of Office Depot, Inc. would  significantly reduce competition nationwide in the market for “consumable” office supplies sold to large business customers for their own use. The complaint alleges that, in competing for contracts, both Staples and Office Depot can provide the low prices, nationwide distribution and combination of services and features that many large business customers require. The complaint further alleges that, by eliminating the competition between Staples and Office Depot, the transaction would lead to higher prices and reduced quality, and that entry or expansion into the market – by other office supplies vendors, manufacturers, wholesalers, or online retailers – would not be timely, likely, or sufficient to counteract the anticompetitive effects of the merger. On May 19, 2016, Staples and Office Depot abandoned their proposed merger after the district court granted the Commission’s request for a preliminary injunction. FTC dismissed the case from administrative trial process.

Type of Action
Federal
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
1510065

Step N Grip, LLC, In the Matter of

Step N Grip, LLC, which sells products online to keep rugs from curling at the edges, settled charges that it invited its closest competitor to fix and raise prices for their competing rug devices, in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act. Under the settlement agreement, Step N Grip is required to stop communicating with its competitors about prices. It is also barred from entering into, participating in, inviting, or soliciting an agreement with any competitor to divide markets, to allocate customers, or to fix prices; and from urging any competitor to raise, fix, or maintain its price or rate levels or limit or reduce service. The order is in effect for 20 years.

Type of Action
Administrative
Last Updated
FTC Matter/File Number
151 0181