In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
I'm writing because I'm sick of the predatory business practices which private equity funds are inflicting on American businesses. As you know, the practices enabled by private equity funds are the very opposite of a free market or of any concept of merit rising to the topi in a free market. Rather, private equity funds buy companies, incur debt for those companies, and cut to the bone wages, benefits, and jobs in the interests of their owners' short-term profit. When they have done as much damage as possible, the fund typically either declares bankruptcy for the company, sells off assets and closed it down, or sells it to another owner who may either choose to continue the cycle of sabotage or be unable to bring the company back from the brink because the damage has been so profound. This process takes no account of whether a given company, like Staples, is profitable, invests in the communities where its franchises operate, or employs hundreds or thousands of people. Closing companies which do contribute to their communities through jobs, benefits, and profits do not deserve this fate; neither do the communities they support. And how these practices are still legal under laws which theoretically govern monopolies is beyond me, since I didn't major in political science or law. As you know, Sycamore Partners, the firm that owns Staples, has already closed almost all Nine West stores and devastated companies like Hot Topic and Aeropostale in the name of their own short-term profit. Staples is next. I vehemently oppose the merger of Staples with Essendant, and I vehemently oppose letting these practices continue all over the country. Please don't let this merger go through.