UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
Pursuant to Section 2(b) of the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act, ("APPA"), 15 U.S.C. § 16 (b)-(h), the United States of America moves for entry of the proposed Final Judgment in this civil antitrust proceeding. The Final Judgment may be entered at this time without further hearing, if the Court determines that entry is in the public interest. A Certificate of Compliance, certifying that the parties have complied with all applicable provisions of the APPA and that the waiting period has expired, has been filed simultaneously with this Court.
The action was commenced on February 15, 1996, when the United States filed a civil antitrust Complaint to prevent and restrain defendants Waste Management of Georgia, Inc.("WMG"), d/b/a Waste Management of Savannah, Waste Management of Louisiana, Inc. ("WML"), d/b/a Waste Management of Central Louisiana and Waste Management, Inc. ("WMI") from maintaining and enhancing their market power in small containerized solid waste hauling service in the Savannah and Central Louisiana markets by using contracts in those markets that have restrictive and anticompetitive effects, in violation of Section 2 of the Sherman Act, 15 U.S.C. §2. Specifically, the Complaint alleges that:
Simultaneously with the filing of the Complaint, the United States filed a proposed Final Judgment, a Stipulation signed by the parties stipulating to entry of the Final Judgment, and a Competitive Impact Statement. The proposed Final Consent Judgment requires that, in dealing with small-container customers in the Savannah and Central Louisiana markets, Defendants only enter into contracts containing significantly less restrictive terms than the contracts they now use in those markets. Specifically, the Defendants will be prohibited from using any contract with small-container customers in the Savannah and Central Louisiana markets that:
The Competitive Impact Statement explains the basis for the Complaint and the reasons why entry of the proposed Final Judgment would be in the public interest. The Stipulation provides that the proposed Final Judgment may be entered by the Court after the completion of the procedures required by the APPA.
Compliance with the APPA
The APPA requires defendants to file a description of communications with any officer or employee of the United States concerning the proposed Final Judgment, 15 U.S.C. § 16(g). The APPA also requires a sixty-day period for the submission of public comments on the proposed Final Judgment, 15 U.S.C. § § 16(b) and (d). In this case, the sixty-day comment period commenced on March 5, 1996 and terminated on May 6, 1996. Finally, the APPA requires a sixty-day period for the submission of public comments following publication in an appropriate newspaper, 15 U.S.C. § 16(c). During these periods, the United States received no comments from the public on the proposed Final Judgment. Upon the expiration of both comment periods on May 6, 1996, the procedures required by the APPA prior to entry of the proposed Final Judgment were completed. The Certificate of Compliance filed by the United States with this Court simultaneously with this Motion demonstrates that the requirements of the APPA have been met. It is now appropriate for the Court to make the public interest determination required by 15 U.S.C. § 16(e) and to enter the Final Judgment. The Court will retain jurisdiction to construe, modify or enforce the Final Judgment.
Standard of Judicial Review
Before entering the proposed Final Judgment, the Court is to determine that the Judgment "is in the public interest." In making that determination, the court may consider:
15 U.S.C. § 16(e) (emphasis added). In its Competitive Impact Statement, the United States has explained the meaning and proper application of the public interest standard under the APPA, and incorporates those statements here by reference.
The public, including affected competitors and customers, has had opportunity to comment on the proposed Final Judgment as required by law, and no one has contended that entry of the proposed Final Judgment would as a whole be contrary to the public interest. There has been no showing that the proposed settlement constitutes an abuse of the Department's discretion or that it is not within the zone of settlements consistent with the public interest.
For the reasons set forth in this Motion, in the Competitive Impact Statement and in the Certificate of Compliance, the Court should find that the proposed Final Judgment is in the public interest and should enter the proposed Final Judgment without further hearings. The United States requests that the proposed Final Judgment be entered expeditiously.
Dated: May 9, 1996
I hereby certify that on this ___ day of May, 1996, I have caused to be served by first class mail, postage prepaid, a copy of the foregoing Certificate of Compliance with Provisions of the Antitrust Procedures and Penalties Act upon the following persons:
Counsel for Defendants Waste Management of Georgia, Inc., Waste
Michael Sennett, Esquire
Robert E. Bloch, Esquire
Glen M. Darbyshire, Esquire