Competition Restored in Market for Hazardous Waste Disposal
OTTAWA, May 29, 2012 — The Competition Tribunal ruled today in favour of the Commissioner, and ordered CCS Corporation to divest the Babkirk hazardous waste landfill site.
The Competition Bureau filed an application with the Competition Tribunal on January 26, 2011 to challenge CCS Corporation's acquisition of Complete Environmental Inc., which owns the proposed Babkirk hazardous waste landfill site. The Bureau's application alleged that the transaction would lead to a substantial prevention of competition in the market for the disposal of hazardous waste within Northeastern British Columbia. The Bureau requested that the Tribunal dissolve the transaction or, alternatively, order a divestiture of Babkirk and related assets.
"Today's ruling sends a clear message to companies who seek to eliminate competitive threats through acquisition," said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition.
"The Bureau has prevented a multi-billion dollar company from entrenching its monopoly for hazardous waste disposal in Northeastern British Columbia."
This case marks the Bureau's first court challenge to a merger since 2005, and sets an important precedent for future prevention of competition cases. The Bureau is committed to enforcing the merger provisions of the Competition Act in respect of mergers of all sizes, not only those that surpass the merger pre-notification thresholds.
"This case demonstrates that the Bureau will take on cases of all sizes and in all sectors," added Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition.
"Volume of commerce is not the only factor we consider when reviewing mergers — we are willing to take on a case where competition is being denied, regardless of size."
The parties to this transaction closed their deal over the Commissioner's objections. They did so at their own risk; the Commissioner has a year to challenge completed transactions and will not hesitate to use that power, where appropriate. The Bureau moved quickly to obtain a remedy, as the longer CCS could keep the Babkirk Landfill out of the market, the longer it could exploit its monopoly.
The Competition Bureau, as an independent law enforcement agency, ensures that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace.
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