The Competition Bureau has charged two waste companies, Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. and its subsidiary, BFI Canada Inc., with violating several terms of a consent agreement they entered into with the Bureau in June 2010.
The June 2010 consent agreement resolved the Bureau’s concerns that a merger between IESI-BFC Ltd. and Waste Services Inc. (now known as ‘Progressive’) would reduce competition in commercial waste collection services in Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Ottawa and Simcoe County.
The consent agreement required the companies to divest commercial waste collection assets, contracts, vehicles, bins and other equipment in these markets. The companies also agreed not to solicit or re-acquire customers whose contracts had been divested, for one year. The parties were also required to report promptly to the Bureau if any material breaches of the Consent Agreement came to light.
In the charges, laid on September 11 2012, the Bureau alleges that Progressive violated the consent agreement between October 2010 and February 2011 by:
1) Soliciting and reacquiring a customer whose contract had been divested under the agreement;
2) Providing a false declaration of compliance; and
3) Failing to promptly notify the Bureau that the agreement had been breached.
Section 66 of the Competition Act makes it an offence to breach a consent agreement. Penalties include a fine in the discretion of the court or up to five years imprisonment, or both.