The Department of Justice announced that Republic Services will be required to divest waste collection and disposal assets in five states in order to proceed with its acquisition of Santek Waste Services (Santek). The department said that without the divestiture, the proposed acquisition would substantially lessen competition for small container commercial waste collection and municipal solid waste disposal services in six local markets across the southeastern United States.
The department’s Antitrust Division — along with the Alabama Attorney General — filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in the US District Court for the District of Columbia to block the proposed transaction. At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive harm alleged in the department’s complaint.
“The waste collection and disposal services provided by Republic and Santek are essential services for businesses, municipalities, and towns,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “Today’s settlement, which requires Republic and Santek to divest numerous facilities and assets in five states, will ensure that these customers continue to benefit from competition for these critical services.”
According to the complaint, Republic and Santek both provide small container commercial waste collection and municipal solid waste disposal services. In each of the local markets alleged in the complaint, Republic and Santek compete vigorously against each other and are two of only a few significant providers of one or both of these essential services. The combination of the two companies would eliminate head-to-head competition between them and threaten the lower prices and better service that customers have realized from that competition.
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