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ACCC approves Staples' US$6.3 billion Office Depot buy

Julia Talevski | Aug. 14, 2015
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not oppose the acquisition between two office stationery suppliers, Staples and Office Depot.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) will not oppose the acquisition between two office stationery suppliers, Staples and Office Depot.

In Australia, Office Depot trades as OfficeMax.

Staples began discussions to acquire Office Depot in September last year with a US$6.3 billion price tag. The acquisition would add US$39 million in annual sales.

ACCC commissioner, Jill Walker, said the acquisition was unlikely to lessen competition in the office products market.

"The proposed acquisition will give Staples a much larger market share than its next closest competitors, which raised the potential for competition concerns," Walker said. "However, the ACCC found that Staples will continue to face strong competition. In particular, Lyreco and Complete Office Supplies have the capability to expand their supply of office products to large customers seeking to switch away from Staples."

The ACCC also believes that Officeworks, although a relatively small supplier to large corporate and government customers, has the potential to provide a further competitive threat to Staples for corporate and government contracts into the future, adding to the competition from Lyreco and Complete Office Supplies.

The proposed acquisition is conditional on approval by competition authorities in the United States, Europe and Canada, whose competition reviews are ongoing.

The ACCC liaised with the New Zealand Commerce Commission, United States' Federal Trade Commission and with the European Commission to exchange information and views on the proposed acquisition.

 

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