Is Amazon After An Office Depot Supply Deal?

As the Staples and Office Depot merger continues to struggle to overcome the FTC’s attempts to block the deal, a new player in the drama has emerged: Amazon.

The eCommerce powerhouse is rumored to be considering taking a stake in the deal, and its investment may be the magic ingredient the deal needs to pass muster with the FTC and launch an entry into corporate office supplies for the online retail giant.

As New York Post recently reported, rumors of acquisitions in the space have swirled since Amazon announced in April 2015 that it would be launching Amazon Business. However, a recent subpoena in the FTC case includes details about Amazon’s proposed investment in Office Depot. As the Post details, Amazon has its own distribution centers but would likely use several of Office Depot’s key corporate accounts to jumpstart its own new office supply business.

How exactly would this help the merger? According to sources close to the matter, the potential Amazon-Office Depot deal would create a stronger second player in the sector, thereby helping Staples get the FTC to reverse its decision to block the $6 billion deal. There has also been recent chatter, according to the Post, that Amazon was considering making a bid for W.B. Mason, the privately held number three office supplier.

The FTC has filed a suit to block the Staples and Office Depot deal, and the case will go to trial in Washington D.C. on Monday, March 21. The FTC voted to block the merger in a 4-0 vote in December, and many believe there is little chance that a judge will reverse the FTC’s ruling.


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