The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has referred the completed acquisition by Stericycle, Inc (Stericycle) of Ecowaste South West Limited (Ecowaste) (two waste management businesses) to the Competition Commission (CC).  

Ecowaste provides waste management services to medical and other sectors in the south west of England and owns a treatment facility at Avonmouth, Bristol. SRCL Limited, the UK subsidiary of Stericycle, provides a similar service throughout England and Wales. Following its investigation, the OFT considered that the merger would give rise to competition concerns in relation to the collection, processing and disposal of healthcare risk waste in the wider Bristol area. The evidence gathered by the OFT indicated that Ecowaste and SRCL Limited had competed closely in the south of England. The OFT concluded that it could not be confident that there was sufficient competition from third parties in the region to prevent SRCL Limited from raising prices or cutting services.  

The CC has invited interested parties to submit comments by 16 September 2011 and it is expected to publish its final report by February 2012.