Judge Blocks Staples, |Office Depot Merger

     (CN) — A federal judge on Tuesday evening blocked the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot, saying the government had made the case that the merger had a “reasonable probability” of hurting competition in office supplies.
     The Federal Trade Commission sought to block the merger, contending it would allow the new combined company to dictate the price of supplies, especially for corporate customers that buy in bulk.
     “After considering the extensive record and the parties’ legal arguments, the Court finds that Plaintiffs have met their burden of showing that there is a reasonable probability that the proposed merger will substantially impair competition in the sale and distribution of consumable office supplies to large business-to-business customers,” wrote U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan.
     Sullivan’s injunction likely means the office-supply chains will drop their $6.3 billion merger plan.
     The companies had said they would do so if the ruling went against them.

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