Staples, Office Depot CEOs Make Case For Merger

With a U.S. District Court hearing on the Staples/Office Depot merger set for Monday, the CEOs with the two office superstores released a joint letter on Friday outlining why they feel the deal would be good for its customers.

Ron Sargent, Staples chairman and CEO, and Roland Smith, Office Depot chairman and CEO, said in a joint statement that they remain committed to the merger and that the transaction is good for their customers of all sizes.

In opposing the deal, officials with the Federal Trade Commission have said the merger could have a negative impact on the 100 largest companies in the United States, noting the possibility of higher prices for office supplies sold by Staples and Office Depot.

However, the CEOs claim that the FTC’s actions to stop the merger are based on “flawed analysis” of the marketplace and a “deep misunderstanding” of the competitive landscape.

“The FTC has cherry picked a few facts to fit its narrative and support its case,” Sargent and Smith wrote. “In making its case, the FTC refuses to even acknowledge the rise of new competitors, such as Amazon, and the disruptive effects of the digital economy.”

The two CEO’s said that based on the FTC’s own view of the market, more than 99% of Staples and Office Depot commercial customers will be unaffected by the merger.

“In reality, these customers and all others will benefit directly from the merger’s cost savings and resulting lower prices,” they said.