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Split FTC OKs $483M Staples-Essendant Deal With 'Firewall'

Law360 (January 28, 2019, 10:54 PM EST) -- Staples Inc. and Essendant Inc. can go forward with a proposed merger valued at almost $483 million after agreeing to include a “firewall” in the deal blocking Staples from accessing certain Essendant sales data, a divided Federal Trade Commission announced on Monday.

The FTC issued a complaint Monday alleging the purchase of Essendant, an Illinois-based workplace supply company, by Massachusetts-based Staples, which is owned by the private equity firm Sycamore Partners II LP, could give Staples an unfair competitive advantage if it is allowed access to Essendant sales data.

“As a result of the acquisition, Sycamore and Staples would have access...

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