In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
Mergers like this make it hard for independent businesses to survive and compete on a level playing field. Independents provide distinct market and consumer benefits that are not matched by larger companies. Their decline harms the economy and deprives consumers of the option of these distinct benefits. Further, by approving this merger, the FTC is setting a dangerous precedent for future mergers involving the suppliers that independent businesses depend on. Vertical mergers and consolidation among wholesalers increasingly threaten the ability of independent businesses to compete, harming competition and consumers.