| FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WEDNESDAY, MAY 6, 1998
TDD (202) 514-1888
WASHINGTON, D.C. The Department of Justice and the Texas Attorney General's Office today cleared USA Waste Services Inc.'s proposed $125 million merger with TransAmerican Waste Industries Inc., after the companies agreed to divest waste hauling and landfill disposal assets in Houston to eliminate antitrust concerns.
USA Waste sold the Houston assets to TransAmerican as part of a 1996 settlement with the Department and the Texas Attorney General's Office. The merger as proposed, would have allowed USA Waste to reacquire those assets in violation of the consent decree in that case.
"This divestiture ensures that residential and business consumers in Houston will continue to enjoy lower prices for waste hauling and disposal services," said Joel I. Klein, Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Department's Antitrust Division.
The original consent decree, entered in December 1996, involved USA Waste's acquisition of Sanifill Inc., and prohibits USA Waste from reacquiring the Houston assets. The Department and the Texas Attorney General's Office are seeking modification of the consent decree to ensure that those assets will be sold to a third company that can compete in the Houston market after the proposed merger.
USA Waste, which is based in Houston, is the third largest waste management company in North America. It has operations in 49 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Total sales were $1.6 billion in 1997.
TransAmerican, also based in Houston, has operations in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Tennessee. Total sales were $16 million in 1996.
The proposed modifications, filed today in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, will be published in the Federal Register, together with the Department's supporting memorandum. Any person may submit written comments concerning the proposed settlement during a 60-day comment period to J. Robert Kramer II, Chief, Litigation II Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 1401 H. Street, N.W., Suite 3000, Washington, D.C. 20530 (202/307-0924).