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"OfficeMax, Office Depot in Talks to Merge"

Hey, Antitrust Division, are you glad you blocked that Staples-Office Depot merger? Will you block this one? Inquiring minds want to know.

But if you do, please consider this:

An attempt by Staples and Office Depot to merge was blocked in 1997 by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which worried the deal would deprive the market of competition and lead to higher prices. But the growth of the Internet and competition from other chains such asCostco Wholesale Corp. . . . and Wal-Mart Stores Inc. . . . have reduced office superstores' clout.

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