Competition Bureau challenges GFL's acquisition of Terrapure
Canada's Competition Bureau, the independent law enforcement agency meant to ensure that Canadian businesses and consumers prosper in a competitive and innovative marketplace, is challenging GFL Environmental Inc.'s recent purchase of Terrapure Environmental Inc. According to the Competition Bureau, prior to the transaction, Terrapure was GFL's closest competitor in many IWS and ORS markets in Western Canada, and their review found that the elimination of this rivalry is likely to result in increased prices and reduced service quality for customers.
The Bureau concluded that the transaction has likely substantially lessened competition in the collection and processing of industrial waste on Vancouver Island, in the British Columbia Interior and in Central Alberta. The Bureau also determined that the transaction is likely to cause a substantial lessening of competition in the provision of ORS in eight regions across British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan. As a result, on November 30, 2021, the Bureau filed an application with the Competition Tribunal for a court order requiring GFL to sell any assets necessary to remedy the likely substantial lessening of competition resulting from the acquisition.
According to Matthew Boswell, Competition Bureau Commissioner of Competition, "Western Canadian customers who need industrial waste and oil recycling services deserve the benefits of healthy competition. We're taking this action to protect those customers from paying higher prices and experiencing reduced service."
GFL Environmental responded to the Application by noting that the acquisition closed on August 17, 2021, following the expiration of the statutory waiting period under the Competition Act (Canada), that the Application relates to seven specific locations in Western Canada, and that the locations referenced in the Application generate annual revenue of approximately $30 million. GFL also stated that it intends to work cooperatively with the Competition Bureau to resolve this matter.