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Judge halts $6B Staples, Office Depot merger; ODP shares plunge 26%

A U.S. district court judge ruled on Tuesday that the No. 1 office supply store Staples may not merge with its smaller rival Office Depot, granting the Federal Trade Commission's request for a preliminary injunction on antitrust grounds.

Office Depot CEO Roland Smith said the companies will not appeal the court's ruling and will terminate the massive merger effective May 16.

"While we are respectful of the Court's decision to grant the FTC's request for a preliminary injunction to prevent our merger with Staples, we are disappointed by this outcome and strongly believe that a merger would have benefitted all of our customers in the long term," Smith said, in a statement.

As part of the broken deal, Staples CEO...