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Settlement requires divestitures in acquisition of Veolia ES

The Department of Justice has reached a settlement that will require Star Atlantic Waste Holdings LP and Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc. to divest commercial waste collection or disposal assets in northern New Jersey, central Georgia and the Macon, Georgia metropolitan area in order to proceed with Star Atlantic’s proposed $1.9 billion acquisition of Veolia. The department said that the transaction, as originally proposed, would have resulted in higher prices.

The Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to block the proposed transaction. At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, will resolve the lawsuit and the competitive concerns.

“Without the divestitures required by the department, consumers in northern New Jersey, central Georgia and the Macon metropolitan area would have been harmed by a reduction in competition for commercial solid waste collection or disposal,” said Joseph Wayland, acting assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice’s Antitrust Division.

According to the complaint, the transaction, as originally proposed, would have substantially lessened competition in commercial waste collection or disposal services in the geographic areas of northern New Jersey, central Georgia and Macon. The acquisition would have eliminated a major competitor in each of these areas.

Under the terms of the proposed settlement, Star Atlantic and Veolia will divest three specified transfer stations in northern New Jersey; a landfill and two transfer stations in central Georgia; and three commercial waste collection routes in the Macon metropolitan area. Each asset to be divested is currently owned by Veolia. To maximize the potential operational effectiveness of each purchaser of the divestiture assets, Star Atlantic and Veolia must divest to a single buyer the three transfer stations in northern New Jersey. Likewise, they must divest to a single purchaser the designated Georgia transfer stations and landfill and the specified commercial waste routes in the Macon metropolitan area.