If you’ve been following the Staples/Office Depot Merger, you know that the FTC has challenged the deal, claiming it would violate antitrust laws by reducing competition for contracted office supplies in the large business market. Citing the combination of competitive pricing, wide distribution and required services of large contract customers, the FTC believes that no other current vendors can offer this mix and that the entry or expansion of other vendors would not be likely or sufficient to fill the void.
For more on the ruling, follow this link to the press release on the Federal Trade Commission website.
Staples calls the ruling flawed because of competitive choices like online provider Amazon.com and regional player W.B. Mason. The company’s offer to divest $1.25 billion of commercial contracts was rejected by the FTC.
As of this writing (January 5, 2016), the stock market is showing some optimism that the deal could survive, as reported by Bloomberg, with Office Depot jumping 5.3 percent.
We are continuing to monitor this situation for our clients. I will post updates here and I invite you to contact us if you have any questions or would like to discuss your own office supply needs and concerns for 2016 and beyond.