Staples And Office Depot Will Move On As Strong, Confident, Single Office Supply Stores

Image courtesy of Studio d'Xavier

Plans for other things at Staples and Office Depot have been on hold for months now, as the two companies waited to find out whether the Federal Trade Commission would allow their proposed merger to go through. Yesterday, the FTC was granted a preliminary injunction to stop the merger, and the two companies called off their engagement. What will they do now? They’ll make it on their own. Somehow.

Staples, the larger company that was technically acquiring Office Depot in this transaction, will have to pay $250 million as a break-up fee to its ex-partner, and announced that it would focus on medium-size business customers in North America.

OfficeMaxDepot’s immediate plans were more vague, with the company announcing that it “remain[s] committed to delivering our 2016 Critical Priorities and realizing the remaining synergies and efficiencies that come from the integration of Office Depot and OfficeMax.”

The reasons cited by the FTC and Judge Sullivan for blocking the merger had next to nothing to do with regular consumers: the anti-trust concern in this merger was protecting both companies’ corporate supply contract customers, since there are few national competitors in that market, and Office Max had been one of them.

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.