In the Matter of Staples/Essendant, Inc., File No. 1810180
We must very carefully vet any private equity fund buy-outs of profitable companies because they degrade viable businesses for the benefit of wealthy investors. The Sycamore Partners/Staples acquisition of another office supplies company raises a red flag. It is not in the public interest to reduce competition. It is not in the public interest to close stores. It is not in the public interest to lay off thousands of workers. These were the consequences of mergers in which value was extracted from two iconic American retail giants: Toys R Us and Sears. The Sycamore Partners/Staples merger looks like it will also extract value from a company and leave it to die or be sold off---with many employees bearing the brunt. Please do not allow this merger. Wealthy investors can already support themselves; much of America depends on retail jobs. Retail is already facing competition from on-line entities like Amazon. We need to think of the health of all economy from the vantage point of workers. Personally, I do not think the business model of Amazon, which demeans its workers and avoids its share of taxes, is a productive or equitable one for this country.