Venable counsel Robert P. Davis was quoted in a February 3, 2015 Wall Street Journal article on regulatory issues facing a possible merger between Staples and Office Depot. Nearly twenty years ago, the two companies attempted to merge but were blocked by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). However, in 2013, the FTC allowed a merger between Office Depot and OfficeMax citing a dramatic shift in industry competitive dynamics showing consumers tended to favor big box retailers and online sources for their office supply purchases.
"Everything the commission talked about in 2013 could carry over into this deal," said Davis. He added that the "FTC would want to make sure that its recent competitive analysis was correct, while also examining any changes in industry practices since Office Depot and OfficeMax combined. The FTC's staff likely will want to take a close look at the companies' business documents and may want to conduct another detailed economic analysis."