Competition Bureau withdrawing its court challenge of Staples' acquisition of Office Depot

News Release

May 19, 2016 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

The Commissioner of Competition has officially withdrawn his application to the Competition Tribunal challenging Staples’ proposed acquisition of Office Depot in light of announcements by the parties that they are abandoning the proposed merger.

This is the final action in an historic case where simultaneous court challenges were filed for the first time by Canadian and American agencies in an anti‑trust matter. The transaction was challenged by the Competition Bureau and the Federal Trade Commission on the grounds that the merger would harm competition in the office products delivery business.

Following the issuance on May 10, 2016, of an injunction in the United States preventing the parties from closing the proposed global merger, the parties announced their decision to abandon the deal, therefore eliminating the need for the Commissioner proceed with his application before the Tribunal.

Quick Facts

  • Staples had proposed to acquire the global business of Office Depot, which operates in Canada under the name Grand & Toy.
  • The Competition Bureau had concluded that if the acquisition were to proceed, Staples would have accounted for over 80% of business‑to‑business sales of various office products to affected customers in Canada.
  • On December 7, 2015, the Commissioner filed an application with the Competition Tribunal challenging Staples’ proposed acquisition of Office Depot; a similar administrative complaint was filed by the Federal Trade Commission.

Quotes

"We are pleased that the parties have agreed to not proceed with this transaction. This positive outcome for competition in Canada is a practical example of the benefits of international enforcement cooperation, and a testament to our productive working relationship with the US Federal Trade Commission."

John Pecman,
Commissioner of Competition

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