The Federal Trade Commission has criticized Staples Inc.'s proposed remedy for antitrust concerns arising from the company's plan to buy Office Depot Inc., The Deal's Bill McConnell reports. 'The proposed fix cannot salvage this merger,' the FTC said in a brief made public on Friday. A version containing confidential business information was filed on Feb. 16, the same day that Staples and Office Depot formally announced an agreement to sell more than $550 million in large corporate contract business and related assets to Essendant Inc. The sale to Essendant had been proposed to the FTC before the agency filed its legal challenge to stop the Office Depot acquisition on December 7. The sale is contingent upon Staples receiving antitrust clearance from the FTC or the court for the Office Depot deal. When the FTC challenged the Staples-Office Depot merger two months ago, the agency said the merger was anticompetitive because the two companies were their closest competitors in the sale of consumable office supplies to large business customers.
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