In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
The FTC needs to block the Staples/Essendant merger. It presents an unacceptable threat to competition. Private equity related mergers should be carefully scrutinized because private equity funds often remove companies from their market, or drastically reduce their operations, leading to anti-competitive outcomes. After the great recession, private equity funds turned to acquisitions to increase profits but this routinely comes at the expense of a company's ability to compete, retain market shares, or retain employees. Companies get into debt and are unable to survive. The FTC needs to stop the Staples/Essendant merger and scrutinize the anti-competitive practices of private equity when assessing private equity-driven mergers.