July 15, 2014
The New York attorney general’s office said that the Rutland, Vt.-based Casella’s restrictive contracting practices, market dominance and pattern of acquiring smaller competitors unlawfully restrained competition in the regions, according to a news release from the state office.
Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said the settlement requires Casella to change its contracts to reduce the legal and financial obstacles faced by customers that want to switch to competing providers. The office expects that these changes will rejuvenate competition by reducing customers’ switching costs and facilitating new market entries.
The settlement also requires Casella to report certain future acquisitions of competitors to the attorney general’s office, and to make a payment to the state of $100,000.
The Casella contracts in question involved the collection and disposal of solid waste from Dumpsters. The attorney general’s office found that Casella’s contracts with its customers required that Casella serve as the exclusive provider of all customers’ waste hauling services for as long as five years. Customers faced severe consequences for early cancellation of their contracts.
“There must be one set of rules for everyone, especially companies that provide essential services,” Schneiderman said. “By fighting for a level playing field in our state’s waste hauling industry, we can ensure New Yorkers receive the benefits of vigorous competition.”