In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
The FTC needs to stop the Staples/Essendant merger, because it is an strong threat to competition. Private equity related mergers should be scrutinized carefully since private equity funds often remove competition from markets 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 are forced to load up with debt leaving them unable to survive. The FTC needs to stop the Staples/Essendant merger and always scrutinize the anti-competitive practices of private equity when assessing private equity-driven mergers.