In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
I write to you, the Federal Trade Commision (FTC) as a citizen, a mother, a physician, a consumer, and multiple other roles. I was shocked to hear of plans for the merger of Staples with another office supplier, I believe the office supplier is named Essendant, but the importance is not the name. The importance lies in the fact that Staples, a huge company with a large share of the office supply market, will possibly merge with another company, with multiple effects. The effects include investors' power to power to reduce competition, close stores, and lay off workers. Sycamore Partners, the firm that owns Staples, has already shut down most Nine West stores and picked apart companies like Hot Topic and Aeropostale to try to extract as much value as possible. The FTC needs to step in and block this merger, as the merger presents an unacceptable threat to competition. Private equity related 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. In the past decade, private equity funds' acquisitions have increased profits, but the increased profits routinely come at the expense of a company's ability to compete, retain market share, or retain employees. Companies accumulate 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. Thank you for reading my letter and your attention to this important regulatory matter.