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Commission gives clearance to Staples/Office Depot merger

Media release

Issued 5 June 2015
Release no. 98

Commission gives clearance to Staples/Office Depot merger

The Commerce Commission has given clearance for Staples to acquire all of the outstanding shares of Office Depot, which trades in New Zealand 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 – 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,” Dr Berry 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.

The merger forms part of a global merger that is currently being considered by several other competition authorities.

Staples and Office Depot are both based in the United States, but supply workplace products in a number of countries, including New Zealand.

Staples and OfficeMax supply a range of workplace products to businesses, government and other institutional buyers. These products include core office products, such as commercial stationery, as well as cafeteria supplies, office furniture, educational supplies, cleaning products, packaging supplies, safety equipment, technology products and printing services.

Croxley is currently a manufacturer, importer and wholesaler of stationery and technology products. However, Croxley has announced plans to cease manufacturing in New Zealand, and focus solely on the importation and wholesale of these products.

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