In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
The Staples/Essendant merger presents an unacceptable threat to competition, and the FTC needs to step in and block it. Private equity related mergers deserve heightened scrutiny as their funds often lead 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.