723 F.Supp.2d 157 (D.D.C. 2010), C. A. 08-2076 (RWR), United States v. Republic Services, Inc.

Docket Nº:Civil Action 08-2076 (RWR).
Citation:723 F.Supp.2d 157
Opinion Judge:RICHARD W. ROBERTS, District Judge.
Party Name:UNITED STATES of America et al., Plaintiffs, v. REPUBLIC SERVICES, INC. et al., Defendants.
Attorney:Lowell Robert Stern, Stephen Alan Harris, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, Nicole S. Gordon, Office of Attorney General, San Francisco, CA, C. Terrell Miller, Office of Attorney General, Frankfort, KY, M. Elizabeth Lippitt, Office of Attorney General, Lansing, MI, K.D. Sturgis, North C...
Case Date:July 15, 2010
Court:United States District Courts, District of Columbia
 
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Page 157

723 F.Supp.2d 157 (D.D.C. 2010)

UNITED STATES of America et al., Plaintiffs,

v.

REPUBLIC SERVICES, INC. et al., Defendants.

Civil Action No. 08-2076 (RWR).

United States District Court, District of Columbia.

July 15, 2010

Lowell Robert Stern, Stephen Alan Harris, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC, Nicole S. Gordon, Office of Attorney General, San Francisco, CA, C. Terrell Miller, Office of Attorney General, Frankfort, KY, M. Elizabeth Lippitt, Office of Attorney General, Lansing, MI, K.D. Sturgis, North Carolina Department of Justice, Raleigh, NC, Mitchell L. Gentile, Ohio Attorney General's Office Antitrust Section, Columbus, OH, James A. Donahue, III, Office of the Attorney General Antitrust Section, Harrisburg, PA, Kim Van Winkle, Office of the Attorney General, Austin, TX, for Plaintiffs.

Edward B. Schwartz, Shearman & Sterling, LLP, John Roberti, Mayer Brown LLP, David Alan Balto, Washington, DC, for Defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

RICHARD W. ROBERTS, District Judge.

The United States and seven states bring suit against defendants Republic

Page 158

Services, Inc. and Allied Waste Industries, Inc., alleging antitrust violations stemming from Republic's acquisition of Allied Waste. The parties have filed a joint motion for entry of final judgment, which would permit the merger to be consummated subject to conditions intended to remedy the violations identified in the complaint. The Center for a Competitive Waste Industry (" CCWI" ) has filed an amicus brief, arguing that the proposed final judgment is not in the public interest because the divestiture remedies are inadequate when compared to air-space remedies that would allow independent haulers to dump in the merged firms' landfills. Because there is an adequate factual foundation upon which to conclude that the government's proposed divestitures will remedy the antitrust violations alleged in the complaint, the parties' joint motion will be granted and the proposed final judgment will be entered.

BACKGROUND

Defendants Allied and Republic are the nation's second and third largest waste hauling and disposal companies, respectively. (Compl. ¶ ¶ 6-7.) They each provide small container commercial waste collection, which entails hauling waste in " dumpsters" -containers with between one and ten cubic yards of storage-from commercial and industrial sites to transfer stations or disposal sites. ( Id. ¶ 10.) They each also dispose of municipal solid waste (" MSW" )-" solid putrescible waste generated by households and commercial establishments" -in landfills or incinerators. ( Id. ¶ ¶ 16-17.) On January 22, 2008, Republic entered into a stock purchase agreement to acquire Allied. After a detailed investigation of the proposed transaction, in which the government reviewed " documents and information from the merging parties and others and conducted more than 600 interviews with customers, competitors, and other individuals knowledgeable about the industry[,]" the government concluded that the merger would have anticompetitive effects. (Resp. of the U.S. to Public Comments on the Proposed Final J. (" U.S. Resp." ) at 3.) On December 3, 2008, the plaintiffs filed a complaint under § 7 of the Clayton Act, 15 U.S.C. § 18, asserting that the " proposed transaction would substantially lessen competition for small container commercial waste collection service" and for " MSW disposal service" in various geographic markets.1 (Compl. ¶ 1.)

The government filed together with its complaint a stipulation and order under which the parties consented to entry of a proposed final judgment aimed at remedying the alleged anticompetitive effects of the merger. The parties' proposed final judgment requires Republic to divest nine landfills, ten transfer stations, and eighty-seven small container hauling routes across the fifteen geographic markets identified in the complaint. (Proposed Final J. at § II(H).) According to the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, 15 U.S.C. § 16, known as...

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