Staples’ Merger Hand: How Was It Misplayed?


Staples’ lawyers surprised everyone when they decided not to call any witnesses over the 6.3 billion dollars acquisition of Office Depot last month.

On the other hand, Diane Sullivan, Weil, Gotshal & Manges LPP’s partner stated to the FTC that the deal had utterly failed to spot any market that would be harmed by the merger, asking Judge Emmett Sullivan to let the merger continue.

This abrupt and suprising move seems to have backfired though, as Judge Sullivan stopped the merger, granting the Federal Trade Commission’s request for an injuntion to hold the merge while a full trial was underway to stop the merge permanently. The companies terminated the merge a few hours later, to prevent the year-long process and its waiting time.

There were a lot of factors in play that helped Judge Emmett Sullivan’s choice to stop the merge, like the uncertainty of degree of strenght AMZN will have in the future, along with the fact that the Judge was not presiding over the full trial, only ruling whether the merger wwould continue or not.

During the 19th of April trial’s closing statements, Judge Emmett Sullivan warned both parties that he had restricted options thanks to the nature of the preliminary injuction case, as a partner at Doyle, Barlow and Mazard PLLC, Andre Barlow, stated, also claiming that this wasn’t a full blown trial of the Federal Trade Commission’s case.

Barlow finished by stating that all Emmett Sullivan was trying to determine was if the FTC met the burden for a preliminary injunction or not.




Staples’ Merger Hand: How Was It Misplayed?
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