Staples-Office Depot Merger In Trouble

It appears that regulators are leaning toward rejecting the Staples (SPLS) and Office Depot (ODP) merger. The issue being that there will still be just one supplier for governments and large companies here in the U.S., even after Staples asset sales.

The deadline is December 8th for the FTC to halt the deal with a lawsuit — and by all accounts they are gearing up to sue. There are four commissioners that vote on the deal — right now it’s deadlocked, which means they’ll push back against the deal as they don’t like ending in a tie.

The current Staples’ divestitures have done little to create a formidable nationwide competitor in the office supply business. The issue being there would be too much pricing power with a combined Staples-Office Depot.