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Federal Judge Rules Against Staples/Office Depot Merger


After months of suspense, a federal judge blocked the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot due to antitrust concerns in the office supply sector, and the two companies say they’ll give up on the $6B deal.

Judge Emmet G. Sullivan’s decision backs the FTC’s allegations that the two superstores' combination would mean less competition and higher prices for large corporations that do bulk purchasing of office supplies.

Shares of the two office suppliers plunged on the news, with Office Depot stock dropping 37% to $3.82, and Staples falling 19% to $8.41, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The final nail in the deal's coffin comes nearly two decades after it was first proposed in 1997, when the FTC had similar concerns. It looks like the second attempt didn’t help much. Third time’s the charm? [WSJ]