FTC Comes Out Swinging In Staples-Office Depot Court Battle
The FTC came out against the Staples (SPLS) and Office Depot (ODP) $6.3B merger, saying the deal doesn’t pass competition standards because the two companies combined to sell 79% of office supplies to Fortune 100 companies in the US.
Despite the merger gaining approval in Australia, New Zealand, China and the EU, the FTC is wary due to concerns businesses would face higher prices, Reuters reports. Yet Staples’ attorney, Diane Sullivan, argues the merger must go through, especially given Amazon’s announcement last year that it will enter the space.
“The landscape of history is littered with companies who have been killed or bankrupt by digitized companies like Amazon," Sullivan said in court Monday.
But the FTC hasn’t budged—if the agency can show that businesses could be hurt by the merger, the court may grant a preliminary injunction, slowing the whole process significantly. [Reuters]