In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
The FTC needs to step in and block the Staples/Essendant merger, as it presents an unacceptable threat to competition. Private equity mergers deserve heightened scrutiny as 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. 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. The FTC needs to stop the Staples/Essendant merger and scrutinize the anti-competitive practices of private equity when assessing private equity-driven mergers. If our economy continues in the direction of belonging to a few billionaires, it's aimed toward certain disaster.