The long, strange story of the Staples (NASDAQ:SPLS) and Office Depot merger has gotten more complicated as Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) considers making an offer for part of Office Depot to grow its business unit.
Staples agreed to buy Office Depot for $6 billion in February 2015, but in the year since, the merger has twice been rejected by the Federal Trade Commission on the grounds it would significantly reduce competition in the office supply market. Office Depot and Staples typically compete for company accounts and should Amazon take over some of those accounts, it could help ease the deal past regulators.
Amazon combined with Office Depot's B2B business could created a second player in the market, but whether Staples would want Office Depot without that business is still unclear.
Amazon's B2B business is a below-the-radar behemoth in a category estimated at $7.2 trillion, according to Forbes.
Earlier this month, Staples announced it planned to close 50 stores as part of a "Plan B" should the deal not be approved. But according to the New York Post, an agreement is in the works thanks in part to a restructured deal that could involve Amazon. None of the parties involved commented for that story.
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