WILMINGTON, Del. (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice announced June 21 that a federal judge ruled in favor of the department in its civil antitrust lawsuit to block radioactive waste disposal provider EnergySolutions’ $367 million acquisition of rival Waste Control Specialists. 

Senior Judge Sue L. Robinson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware delivered the ruling and enjoined the merger.

“Substantial evidence showed that head-to-head competition between EnergySolutions and Waste Control Specialists led to better disposal services at lower prices,” said acting assistant attorney general Andrew Finch of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division.  

“Today’s decision protects competition in an industry that is incredibly difficult to enter.  While EnergySolutions’ preference was to buy its main rival rather than continue to compete to win business, today’s decision ensures that customers will benefit from the competitive process.”

The Justice Department had filed the lawsuit in November 2016, alleging the merger would bring about a reduction in competition for disposing low-level radioactive waste in 36 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.  

A 10-day trial was held in May.

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