When Office Depot and OfficeMax showed up, sweaty, nervous hands entwined, to talk to the Federal Trade Commission, those two crazy kids were probably worried the agency wouldn’t give its blessing for their upcoming nuptials. But it looks like this wedding is going to happen, people.
The Wall Street Journal spoke to people familiar with the matter who said the FTC will likely give the go-ahead on the merger after a lengthy antitrust review.
We first heard these two were courting each other back in February, so the FTC has had the seven or eight months since then to suss out the deal and has reportedly found that it won’t lessen competition all that much, say the insiders.
The FTC is rumbling back to life after the government shutdown, but despite that delay in business, the office supply companies could seal the deal in the next few weeks. That is, once the FTC reaches a final decision, which it has yet to do.
It’s likely that the deal is just fine by the FTC because brick-and-mortar stores like Office Depot and OfficeMax are already facing stiff competition by way of the Internet, making it a logical step for the two companies to band together and battle online companies together.
Good luck, you two crazy kids! It’s tough out there for a physical office supply store, but now you’ll have each other.
FTC Expected to Bless Office-Supply Merger [The Wall Street Journal]