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. 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. The supply chain that services the office product industry will suffer drastically from this merger. The individual employees working for all office product companies will undoubtedly suffer adverse life events as a consequence of the financial consequences they will experience. The calculus of these effects is undeniable over a large scale. A merger such as this has financial benefits for a very few wealthy fund beneficiaries while having drastic financial and social impacts all over of the communities in the United States. A merger involving private equity funds can be considered a guaranteed national quality of life reduction instrument.