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US: Staples, Office Depot slam US Government: It is “simply wrong”

 |  March 20, 2016

Staples and Office Depot took their merger case directly to customers on Friday, saying in an open letter that the US government is “simply wrong” for blocking their proposed deal.

More than a year ago, Staples offered to buy Office Depot in a transaction then valued at about $5.5 billion, pressured by declining sales in the office supplies sector and the rise of rivals, most notably Amazon.com and W.B. Mason.

But the Federal Trade Commission sued to block the deal, arguing it would severely curtail competition in the “consumables” space. The FTC is trying to win a preliminary order from a federal judge to prevent the merger so that the agency can proceed with an administrative trial in May. A hearing is set for Monday in U.S. District Court.

“The FTC’s actions to stop this transaction are based on a flawed analysis of the marketplace and a deep misunderstanding of the competitive landscape,” the CEOs of Staples and Office Depot, Ron Sargent and Roland Smith, say in the joint letter.

They later conclude: “The FTC is simply wrong. The combination of Staples and Office Depot is good for customers.”

Full Content: The Wall Street Journal

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