In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
Please do your job and work to ensure that these anti-competitive buyouts and consolidations don't create the kind of hollow vertically "synergized" monopolies that decimated our economy in the past. These are not new and novel issues that we face, learn from the past and do not perpetuate the pillaging of another company at the hands of private equity fund buyout. 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.