In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
I'm writing to urge the FTC to stop the Staples/Essendant merger and generally scrutinize the anti-competitive practices of private equity when assessing private equity-driven mergers. I want to see the FTC step in and block this Staples/Essendant merger, as it presents an unacceptable threat to competition. Private equity-related mergers deserve heightened scrutiny because these 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 so-called great recession, private equity funds have turned to acquisitions to increase profits, but this routinely comes at the expense of an acquired company's ability to compete, retain market share, or retain employees, ie, to survive. Again, I ask the FTC to stop this particular Staples/Essendant merger and to generally scrutinize the anti-competitive practices involved in private equity-driven mergers.