In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
The Staples/Essendant merger must be stopped. Competition in any number of industries continues to decline, which is a bad for consumers. I'm old enough to remember when Ma Bell was broken up and continue to wonder why so many companies nowadays are allowed to control huge shares of their market. Private equity related mergers deserve 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 have turned to acquisitions to increase profits but this routinely comes at the expense of a company's ability to compete, retain market share, or 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.