Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

Justice Department Settles Civil Contempt Claim Against Allied Waste Industries Inc.

On May 8, the DOJ reached a settlement with Allied Waste Industries Inc., the second largest non-hazardous solid waste management company in the United States, with annual revenues of $6 billion. Allied agreed to pay $125,000 for its alleged violations of a 2000 consent decree entered in connection with Allied’s acquisition of Browning-Ferris Industries Inc. (“BFI”). The $125,000 payment to the United States includes reimbursement to the government for the cost of its investigation into Allied’s alleged violations.

Under the 2000 consent decree, Allied had to sell waste collection and disposal operations in 13 states, covering 18 metropolitan areas, as well as, seek the Antitrust Division’s approval before acquiring waste collection and disposal assets in any of the relevant geographic areas covered under the decree, provided certain minimum dollar threshold amounts are met.

According to the DOJ, Allied violated this provision of the decree. Allegedly, Allied acquired a set of waste collection assets in the Chicago area in January 2004 from Homewood Disposal Services Inc. without obtaining DOJ approval. The settlement agreement resolved all Department concerns arising from the alleged violation.

This is the second time the DOJ moved to enforce Allied’s compliance with provisions in the 2000 consent decree. In August 2004, the DOJ settled a violation relating to Allied’s premature termination of disposal rights at a former BFI landfill in Massachusetts. The settlement required Allied to agree to entry of an enforcement order that resolved disposal rights and required Allied to implement a compliance program to ensure that Allied fully conformed with the requirements of the 2000 decree. As a consequence of that compliance program, Allied brought its earlier January 2004 acquisition from Homewood to the DOJ’s attention as a potential violation of the decree.


Andre Barlow

(202) 589-1834
abarlow@dbmlawgroup.com