September 28, 2015
The European Commission said that “the transaction could eliminate an important competitor and reduce the choice of suitable suppliers in already concentrated markets, which could lead to price increases”, Wall Street Journal reported.
The Commission added that there may also be competition concerns with wholesale office product sales in Sweden, “where the merging parties appear to have no significant competitors offering a wide portfolio of products”. Staples Chief Executive Ron Sargent stated that his company was working “cooperatively” with EU regulators.
Regulators have already approved the deal in Australia, New Zealand and China, Staples commented, although a source recently said that it may fall through after hitting a wall with Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Bureau of Competition head Deborah Feinstein.
Margrethe Vestager, Antitrust Chief at the EU, commented: “We are opening this in-depth investigation to make sure that the merger of two of the main suppliers of office products will not have a negative effect on competition.
“All companies and organisations, big or small, need office supplies for their daily work.”
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