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Staples acquires Office Depot shares

staples2Staples has received clearance from the Commerce Commission of New Zealand to acquire all the outstanding shares of Office Depot, which trades in NZ as OfficeMax.

The commission analysed the competitive effects of the merger on the supply of workplace products to businesses. Of particular focus was the impact of the merger on competition for government and large corporate customers. The commission also considered the impact of the merged entity owning Croxley Stationery, a wholesaler of stationery and technology products.

Commerce Commission chair, Dr Mark Berry, said the commission is satisfied that the merger will not have, or would not be likely to have, the effect of substantially lessening competition in the affected markets.

“The workplace product market for government and large corporate customers is currently competitive, and we consider that the merged entity would continue to face competition from three companies, namely Fuji Xerox, Office Products Depot and Corporate Consumables. Each of these is eligible to supply across all workplace product categories under the recently announced All-of-Government procurement contract,” he said.

“In our investigation we also found that brand names have limited competitive importance, so we do not consider that the merged entity’s ownership of Croxley raises significant competition issues.”

A public version of the written reasons for the decision will be available shortly on the Clearance Register.

Staples continues to work with regulatory agencies in the US, the European Union, Canada, Australia, and China.

“We’re pleased that the Commerce Commission of NZ has approved this transaction,” said Staples chairman and CEO, Ron Sargent. “We continue to work closely with regulatory agencies around the world and expect the transaction to be completed by the end of the year. The combined company will enable Staples to provide more value to customers, and more effectively compete in a rapidly evolving competitive environment.”

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