In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
The FTC needs to step in and block this Staples/Essendant merger, as it presents an unacceptable threat to economic 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 Bush 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, let alone thrive. 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.