CMA ‘considering’ Veolia/Suez evidence after Macquarie deal

The UK Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has said it is “carefully considering” the evidence related to the Veolia and Suez merger in light of Veolia and Macquarie agreeing a £2 billion deal to buy Suez UK’s waste business.

The deal, if approved, will see Veolia and Suez compete again in the UK waste market

In an announcement yesterday (8 August), Veolia said the sale of Suez recycling and recovery UK will “effectively address the main concerns of the CMA” (see letsrecycle.com story).

The deal with Macquarie, which also owns Beauparc, remains subject to the CMA’s approval and to the right of first refusal granted by Veolia to the new Suez at the time the merger was announced in 2021.

In a statement given to letsrecycle.com after the deal was announced, the CMA reiterated that it is “carefully reviewing evidence”, with a decision due soon.

A spokesperson said: “Our in-depth investigation provisionally found that the tie-up between Veolia and Suez – two of the largest suppliers of waste management services – could reduce competition and lead to more costly and lower quality services, with taxpayers left to foot the bill.

“We set out our initial view that Veolia must sell either its own or Suez’s entire UK waste business to a suitable buyer. We are now carefully considering the evidence before coming to a final view, which is due soon.”

Ruling

The authority provisionally ruled against the two waste companies merging in June, reasoning that the move would result in a lessening of competition on the UK market.

As a possible remedy, it suggested that Veolia sell either its own or Suez’s UK waste business to a suitable buyer.

Veolia then confirmed that if the authority’s provisional ruling was to become final, it will sell all of Suez’s UK waste business (see letsrecycle.com story).

All eyes will now be on how yesterday’s announcement will impact the CMA’s upcoming ruling, which was recently delayed from 17 July to 11 September at the latest (see letsrecycle.com story).

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