Tervita's Acquisition of Complete Environmental Inc. (A)
(6 pages of text)
Case (Pub Mat)
On January 3, 2011, the Canadian Competition Bureau was reviewing a recent business merger. CCS Corporation Inc. (Tervita) had acquired Complete Environmental Inc. (Complete). Prior to its acquisition by Tervita, Complete had received regulatory approval to operate a secure landfill site in Northeastern British Columbia (NEBC). However, a complaint about the purchase was filed by SECURE Energy Services Inc. (SECURE), one of Tervita’s competitors. The complaint claimed that the price Tervita paid for Complete was well above fair market value, and that the purchase would eliminate a competitor in the NEBC market. At the time, only two secure landfills operated in NEBC. Both were owned by Tervita, which provided a wide-range of waste management, recovery, and disposal services to the North American oil and gas industry. The Canadian Competition Bureau had to evaluate the economics underlying Tervita’s decision to pay a premium price for Complete. It also needed to determine whether the acquisition violated the Competition Act, or whether the complaint was merely a frivolous case of “sour grapes” stemming from SECURE’s own failure to acquire Complete.
This two-part case is suitable for use at undergraduate and graduate levels in courses covering competitive strategy, mergers and acquisitions, and government policy. After completing both parts of the case, students will be able to
- discuss competition policy in Canada, including issues of monopoly, oligopoly, and perfect competition;
- understand interactions between competitive dynamics and regulation in Canada;
- understand the Hotelling linear city model; and
- discuss how a market’s geography can lead prices to become strategic substitutes.
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
Canada, Small, 2011
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