The Obama Trials

Staples/Office Depot, Round 2

09 November 2017

Amazon, printer ink and the importance of market definition It seemed as though the ink had barely dried on the Federal Trade Commission’s 2013 statement closing its investigation of the Office Depot/OfficeMax merger when rumours began to swirl that Staples would try to acquire Office Depot. Office Depot and OfficeMax had been the second- and third-largest office supplies vendors in the country when they merged in 2013. They argued, among other things, that a merger was necessary to allow them better to compete with Staples, the largest office supplies vendor. And the FTC credited the competitive presence of Staples as a factor in its decision not to challenge their merger.