Australian Government Also Looking Into Staples Office Depot Merger
BY John Durie
The ACCC is looking at the impact in Australia of the proposed $US6.3 billion merger between the biggest and second biggest US stationery retailers — Staples and Office Depot.
In Australia the merger mainly impacts the commercial market, with Staples controlling office supplier Corporate Express and Office Depot the big education supplier, Office Max.
Wesfarmers-controlled Officeworks dominates the Australian retail market for office supplies.
Officeworks’ competitive decision is interesting, given it could argue against its main competitors getting bigger, but like most companies would also see the benefits of a virtual duopoly.
Given the Staples and Office Depot chains are number one and two in the US, the US regulator’s decision will centre on the rival stores provided by online retailer Amazon and general producer retailer WalMart.
The US authorities had previously blocked Staples merging with Office Max, which was followed by Office Depot then acquiring Office Max.
The Australian competition regulator’s decision is likely to follow that in the US.