Competition Bureau reaches agreement with GFL to preserve competition for industrial waste and oil recycling services in western Canada

News release

April 14, 2022 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau announced today that it has reached an agreement with GFL Environmental Inc. to resolve litigation related to its purchase of Terrapure Environmental Ltd.

On November 30, 2021, the Bureau challenged the acquisition before the Competition Tribunal after concluding that it had likely substantially lessened competition in the markets for industrial waste services (IWS) and oil recycling services (ORS) in western Canada.

The Bureau had filed an application for a court order requiring GFL to sell any assets necessary to remedy the likely substantial lessening of competition resulting from the acquisition.

The agreement is the result of the mediation process available in all Tribunal proceedings. The mediator was a judicial member of the Competition Tribunal, the Honourable Jocelyne Gagné, Associate Chief Justice of the Federal Court.

To resolve the Bureau’s concerns, GFL has agreed to sell seven of its IWS and ORS facilities to a buyer acceptable to the Commissioner. These facilities are located in the following regions:

  • Nanaimo, BC;
  • Kelowna, BC;
  • Prince George, BC;
  • Nobleford, AB;
  • Big Valley, AB;
  • Lloydminster, AB; and
  • Maidstone, SK.

The Commissioner is pleased to arrive at a negotiated resolution at an early stage of the litigation process. This agreement is necessary to preserve competition and Canadian businesses will benefit as a result.

Today’s agreement concludes the Bureau’s legal action against GFL. A copy of the full agreement is available on the Competition Tribunal website.

Quick facts

  • On March 15, 2021, GFL announced it had entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the solid waste and environmental solutions business of Terrapure and its subsidiaries for approximately $927 million. GFL completed the acquisition on August 17, 2021. 

  • Prior to the transaction, Terrapure was GFL’s closest competitor in many IWS and ORS markets in western Canada. The Bureau determined that the elimination of this rivalry was likely to result in increased prices and reduced service quality for customers.

  • IWS involve the collection and processing of waste generated by Canada’s industrial and manufacturing sectors.

  • ORS involve the processing of used lubricating oil and related materials collected from various sources, such as vehicle oil change and repair shops, for subsequent sale as industrial fuel oil.

  • A consent agreement has the force and effect of a court order once it is registered with the Competition Tribunal.

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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.

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