January 11 – Staples offered to buy the parent of Office Depot in a deal valuing the company at $2.1 billion. If this sounds familiar, it’s because it’s not the first time.
In September 1996, Staples and Office Depot announced plans to merge — an announcement that was met with a great deal of resistance and cries of antitrust. The FTC agreed and blocked the merger, arguing that OfficeMax did not have enough retail locations in the same markets as Staples/Office Depot to prevent a monopoly.
It tried again in 2015, after Office Depot acquired OfficeMax. The FTC once again opposed the move. After selling off its remaining UK locations, Staples would then itself be acquired by private equity firm Sycamore Partners. Read the full history of Staples’ acquisition action up until its 2019 acquisition of DEX Imaging.
Is the third time the charm?