Staples' takeover of competitor Office Depot is starting to look doomed. After filing an antitrust lawsuit to block the $6.3 billion buyout, today the Federal Trade Commission has formally rejected a revised version of the deal — without making any sort of counteroffer to the two retailers. Per Bloomberg Business, Staples recently offered to divest a total of $1.25 billion in commercial contracts in hopes of pushing the acquisition through, but that wasn't enough for the FTC; today Staples announced that the offer has been denied.
BREAKING: Staples says FTC has rejected Office Depot deal without making counteroffer— CNBC Now (@CNBCnow) December 21, 2015
Staples says it's willing to continue negotiating with the FTC, but it's clear that the commission isn't a fan of the two top office supply chains joining together. Upon filing its lawsuit, the FTC said Staples and Office Depot merging into one company would likely "eliminate beneficial competition that large companies rely on to reduce the costs of office supplies." That's very much unlike Office Depot's purchase of OfficeMax in 2013, which got the thumbs up from regulators without any real trouble. Should it prove necessary — and now it sounds like it will — Staples has said it's willing to fight to keep this deal alive through litigation.