In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180 #00985

Submission Number:
00985
Commenter:
Elliott Roberts
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
I watched recently as two local long-standing stores were closed, one a Staples and the other a Joann Fabric. Both closures were dramatic (sudden) and quite traumatic to the employees. While the next paragraph is not my creation, the sentiment is. The FTC needs to step in and block this Staples/Essendant merger, as it 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. 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.