Decision Summaries CT-2006-009

Case name: Waste Management of Canada Corporation (formerly Laidlaw Waste Systems Ltd.) v. The Commissioner of Competition (formerly the Director of Investigation and Research)
Case #: CT-2006-009
Date rendered: 2006-11-21
Presiding judicial member: Madam Justice Simpson

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Waste Management of Canada Corporation (formerly Laidlaw Waste Systems Ltd.) v. The Commissioner of Competition (formerly the Director of Investigation and Research)

On September 7, 2006, Waste Management of Canada Corporation (Waste Management), with the consent of the Commissioner of Competition (the Commissioner), applied to the Competition Tribunal (the Tribunal), pursuant to paragraph 106(1)(a) of the Competition Act (the Act), for an order to rescind the order which was issued in Director of Investigation and Research v. Laidlaw Waste Systems on February 11, 1992 (the 1992 Order). A panel composed of Madam Justice Simpson (presiding judicial member), Mr. Justice Phelan and Dr. Csorgo allowed the application on November 21, 2006.

The Tribunal had issued the 1992 Order after finding that Laidlaw Waste Systems (Laidlaw) substantially controlled the lift-on-board services for waste disposal in certain markets on the eastern side of Vancouver Island, and that Laidlaw had engaged in anti-competitive acts, namely a pattern of acquisitions and certain contractual terms, which had brought about a substantial lessening of competition. The contractual terms which the Tribunal found anti-competitive were related to exclusivity of service, right of first refusal, disclosure of competing bids, heavy switching penalties and lengthy contracts.

In the 1992 Order, the Tribunal ordered Laidlaw to amend its service contracts in order to remove the anti-competitive clauses. Laidlaw was also ordered to provide in its service contracts for a term of no more than one year, with renewals also limited to one year with a thirty-day notice of termination.

The Order also contained other provisions regarding acquisitions and notifications, but those provisions had expired by the time of this application.

The Tribunal found on this application that the circumstances which had led to the making of the 1992 Order had changed, based on the evidence presented by the applicant Waste Management (Laidlaw's successor) that it no longer occupies the dominant position in the geographic markets to which the 1992 Order applied.

The Commissioner consented to the rescinding order, and for the purposes of this application, did not dispute the evidence presented by the applicant concerning its loss of dominant position. The Tribunal published, in accordance with its Rules, notice of the application to rescind the 1992 Order in the Canada Gazette. No one sought leave to intervene.

Accordingly, the Tribunal issued an order rescinding the 1992 Order.

* This is an unofficial summary prepared by the Registry of the Tribunal.