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Report from APWU Outlines How Proposed Staples/Office Depot Merger Would Harm Consumers

For Immediate Release

05/27/2015 - WASHINGTON DCA report released today by the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) outlines the harm that would come to consumers, small businesses and government entities if regulators approve the proposed merger of Staples and Office Depot.

The APWU has submitted the report, “No Sale: Why the Staples/Office Depot Merger Should Be Blocked,” to the Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice and is sharing its legal and economic conclusions with state officials, investors, key shareholders and other stakeholders.

“If you shrink the office-supply market to a single national chain, you create a monopoly that will harm everyone who uses office supplies – individual consumers, small businesses and government agencies. That’s exactly what the anti-trust laws of this country are supposed to prevent,” said APWU President Mark Dimondstein. “We’re going to make sure federal regulators and other stakeholders have all the facts. When they do, we’re convinced they will reject the merger.”

“No Sale” identifies four specific reasons the proposed merger of the only two remaining office-supply superstore chains in the U.S. should be blocked, including:

  1. Mass market retailers, such as Target and Walmart, are not true competitors with office-supply superstores. 
  2. Once the office-supply superstore market shrinks to a single company, true competition will never return, because the barriers to entry into the market are too high.
  3. Internet retailers are not full competitors in the office-supply market. They cannot compete for the business of the more than one in five U.S. households – about 65 million people – who don’t have Internet access.
  4. Higher prices and reduced choice – the inevitable consequence of a monopoly market – will cause disproportionate harm to communities of color and low-income households.

APWU expects to file additional comments and analysis as the Federal Trade Commission considers the proposed merger.  “No Sale” is available on the APWU website at: www.apwu.org/sites/apwu/files/resource-files/No%20Sale%20-%20Objections%20to%20Merger.pdf.

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The American Postal Workers Union represents 200,000 employees of the United States Postal Service, and is affiliated with the AFL-CIO. For more information about the APWU, visit www.apwu.org.