In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
The FTC must block the Staples/Essendant merger to prevent unacceptable competitive leverage that benefits only the wealthy investors and destroys employees, jobs, wages, benefits, and the value of the business to individual communities. Private equity related mergers are a form of racketeering and require heightened scrutiny as private equity funds often remove companies from the markets in which they were situated at 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 routinely damage acquisitions to increase profits at the expense of a company's ability to compete, retain market share, or retain employees, and subsequently increasing the debt load of companies which forces inability of the company's survival and ultimate destruction and liquidation via bankruptcy or collapse. 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.