Florida business owners and operators naturally must be continually on the lookout for opportunities to strengthen their operations and increase profits. In some cases, that can involve the help of state or local entities. Such is the case with Office Depot, which is currently headquartered in Boca Raton. After their 2013 acquisition of Office Max, Office Depot benefited from several incentives from the state of Florida and local government as well.
Today, the entities that helped Office Depot two years ago are now concerned that their efforts will be for naught. The office supplies superstore is working hard to join forces with Massachusetts-based Staples. If eventually approved, the 2,000 jobs based in Boca Raton will most likely be lost as the new company will operate out of Staples’ current Framingham location.
The proposed merger has hit a major roadblock, however. The Federal Trade Commission has rejected the companies’ request to combine. The FTC indicated that such a merger would essentially create a monopoly and would be in direct violation of antitrust laws. Many organizations in Florida as well as nationally, like the American Antitrust Institute are celebrating the FTC’s decision. However, the fight is far from over. Both Office Depot and Staples are preparing for what will likely be a long legal battle. The case is currently scheduled to go to trial in May of next year.
Even when jointly agreed upon, business mergers can be anything but simple or smooth. Working with experienced attorneys may be a good way for companies to pursue the opportunities they need and want.
Source: SunSentinel, “Staples-Office Depot merger rejected, now heads to court,” Marcia Heroux Pounds, December 7, 2015