In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
Now I see a proposal to merge Staples, a store that many of us used and liked. And the same thing will happen as happened after other mergers, like Toys R Us. Another chain will disappear after the merger because it will be gutted, its workers will be laid off, and then there will be no more stores. The public is told this is because of competition from Amazon, etc. Many of us have figured out there is much more to this story than just Amazon. I hope the FTC will block this Staples/Essendant merger. It will result in reducing competition and competition is good for consumers. Private equity is the source of the problem. These 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. This seems to be the new trend since the recession. They increase profits which is their bottom line. However, the company is no longer able 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.