Amazon Business may be looking to expand its office supplies operations by purchasing the corporate business unit of Office Depot, a report said Wednesday.
The New York Post said that a prominent activist investor has taken a stake in Office Depot, believing the workplace supply chain could be near a deal that will clear all regulatory barriers to its merger with Staples.
The report said that Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, was looking to expand the footprint of Amazon Business and eyeing the business unit. Citing other sources, the Post also said that Amazon may be considering a bid for W.B. Mason, the third largest distributor of office supplies.
In February 2015, Staples and Office Depot agreed to merge in a cash and stock deal that valued Office Depot at $11 a share, making it a $6 billion deal.
The FTC rejected the merger, claiming it would cause too much concentration in the national office supplies space. On Monday, the FTC’s suit to block the merger goes to trial in a Washington, DC federal court.
The FTC, according to another report, would only approve the merger if either Staples or Office Depot divested itself of one of its stand alone businesses. That report came from the Sun-Sentinel newspaper.
The FTC, before suing to stop the merger, rejected a settlement offer that Staples proposed offering to sell its corporate contract business to Essendant for $550 million.
If Amazon Business does acquire Office Depot’s corporate business, it would make the Amazon the second largest office supplier in the country.