In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
I am writing to express my concern and disapproval of the proposed Staples/Essendant merger. Precedent tells us that this will be a bad idea for consumers and employees, and may only benefit shareholders and corporate executives, if the company survives. I urge the FTC to step in now and block this proposed Staples/Essendant merger, as it presents an unacceptable threat to competition. Private equity related mergers deserve heightened scrutiny as private equity funds often remove companies from the markets in which they were situated at the time of acquisition, or drastically reduce the scale of their operations, leading to anti-competitive outcomes by reducing the number and scope of firms in a given market. After the great recession, private equity funds have turned to acquisitions to increase profits but this routinely comes at the expense of a company's ability to compete, retain market share, and retain employees. Companies get loaded up with debt and are unable to survive. The FTC needs to stop the Staples/Essendant merger and generally scrutinize the anti-competitive practices of private equity when assessing private equity-driven mergers.