In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
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. Private equity related mergers must be given heightened scrutiny since 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 and putting hundreds, of not thousands of employees out of work. 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.