In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
Last month, the FTC approved this merger for which I am opposed to for the following reasons: Over 25% of office supplies are sold by independent dealers. These dealers are highly competitive. These dealders are significant in their local economies. As competitive as these businesses are, conentration threatens their future. They're down to just 2 wholesalers - that's just 2 lifelines to their supply chain. Wholesalers do more than ship products to independent dealers. They are intimately involved, providing servies to end customers, working with dealers to put together bids for big contracts, etc. The FTC has now handed Staples an inside look at is competitors' business. Staples has agreed to a firewall, but that is not enforecable. It would be easy for Essendant to verbally share with Staples details about an independent's bid on a big contract. Furthermore, Staples could also raise prices to these independent dealers. The result would be that the customers who use the idenpendent dealers, will switch to a new supplier (Staples) if their prices are raised. For these reasons, I am against the Staples-Essendant merger and it should not be allowed to happen. Thank you.