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DOJ says Star Atlantic and Veolia must shed units

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Department of Justice said Thursday that Star Atlantic Waste Holdings L.P. and Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc. must shed their commercial waste collection or disposal assets in several states in order to complete their pending deal.

The waste companies revealed plans in July for Star Atlantic to buy Veolia. The combined business, which will operate as Advanced Disposal Services, would become the largest privately owned environmental services business in the United States

The Department of Justice said that the $1.9 billion deal, as originally proposed, would have resulted in higher prices for waste collection for commercial businesses in certain areas. As part of the settlement over the antitrust concerns, the companies must divest its commercial waste collection or disposal assets in northern New Jersey, central Georgia, and the Macon, Ga., metropolitan area in order to move forward with the deal.

In each of these areas, the DOJ said Star Atlantic and Veolia are two of only a few significant firms providing commercial waste collection or municipal solid waste disposal services. The acquisition would have eliminated a major competitor in each of these areas and resulted in higher prices and poorer service for consumers, the agency maintained.

Star Atlantic is a privately owned business with its headquarters in New York City and operates regional subsidiaries such as Advanced Disposal Services Inc. and Interstate Waste Services Inc.

Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc. is a wholly owned U.S. subsidiary of the French corporation Veolia Environnement S.A.