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Archived — Charges laid against Waste Services company for breaching consent agreement

OTTAWA, September 11, 2012 — The Competition Bureau announced today that it has laid charges under the Competition Act against Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. and its subsidiary, BFI Canada Inc., for multiple breaches of a June 2010 Consent Agreement with the Bureau. The alleged breaches occurred between October 2010 and February 2011.

"Today's announcement sends a strong signal to businesses that breaching a Consent Agreement with the Competition Bureau is an extremely serious matter and will not be tolerated," said Melanie Aitken, Commissioner of Competition. "Consent Agreements are an essential tool to preserve competition and protect consumers from potential anti‑competitive harm. Companies who violate the terms of such agreements must be held to account."

In June 2010, the Bureau announced that it had reached a Consent Agreement with IESI-BFC Ltd. and Waste Services Inc. (now known together as 'Progressive') to address concerns that the merger of the two companies would result in a substantial lessening or prevention of competition in the supply of commercial waste collection services in Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Ottawa and Simcoe County.

Under the terms of the Consent Agreement filed with the Competition Tribunal, the parties were required to divest commercial waste collection assets, including customer contracts, vehicles, bins and other equipment in these markets. In addition to the divestitures, they were prohibited from soliciting or reacquiring divested customers for a period of one year. In the event that the parties became aware of material breaches of the Consent Agreement, they were required to promptly notify the Bureau.

It is alleged that Progressive violated the terms of the Consent Agreement by:

  • soliciting and reacquiring a customer whose contract had been divested under the agreement;
  • providing a false declaration of compliance; and
  • failing to promptly notify the Bureau that the agreement had been breached.

Breach of a Consent Agreement is a serious offence under section 66 of the Competition Act.

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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