In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180 #02091

Submission Number:
02091
Commenter:
Bonita Staas
State:
Illinois
Initiative Name:
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 competition. It will lead to many people losing their jobs unnecessarily. We NEED competition, not mergers. No company should be allowed to get "too big". 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. 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. Private equity funds have had a devastating effect on retail across America. When one such fund closed Toys R Us last year, 31,000 people immediately lost their jobs. It took a mass public mobilization to get them severance. But that doesn't stop the long-term damage to communities of a major store closure.2 In many cases private equity funds also try to eliminate the competition. In this case, a private equity fund that owns Staples wants to merge it with another office supply company. The result will be to kill off competition -- and eventually, kill off another successful retailer. FTC Commissioner Rohit Chopra stands with us in opposing this and other bad deals. Listen to him!