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. This is a perfect example of TOXIC CAPITALISM. Equity fund takeovers ruin businesses, ruin average people's financial investments for retirement, ruin job markets in our communities, and most importantly ruin the lives and livelihoods of thousands of employees at a time - all for the benefit of a few large, ultra-wealthy investors. 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.