The intended merger between American office supply giants Staples and Office Depot is off the table. The American Federal Trade Commission had already labeled it a bad idea and the court now confirms that decision.
Early last year, Staples announced it wanted to acquire competitor Office Depot for 6.3 billion dollars (5.5 billion euro), creating a company with thousands of stores and a 35 billion dollar (30 billion euro) turnover. However, the FTC stated in December that it was not happy with the possible merger, believing the consumer would be worse off. The merger company's strong competitive position would enable it to increase prices.
An American federal judge has now followed the FTC's reasoning and blocked the merger. Both companies have no intention of looking for a solution and have called off the merger immediately. However, Staples will now have to pay Office Depot 250 million dollars (220 million euro) for the failed merger.
Earlier, Europe did approve the merger but demanded the sale of several divisions.