The sale of shares by a German district authority to a private company of a formally public-private owned waste disposal contractor can give rise to an obligation to retender public waste disposal contracts. This is the view of the European Commission expressed in a reasoned opinion sent to Germany on 29 September 2011, in relation to a waste disposal contract in Sachsen-Anhalt.
The district authority of Sangerhausen concluded a waste disposal contract with a public-private company without a tender procedure. In 2004, the same public-private waste contractor won a contract to provide services to the Mansfelder Land following a tender. In 2007, two districts, Sangerhausen and Mansfelder merged into the Mansfeld-Südharz district. The new district authority held 75 per cent of the company carrying out the waste disposal contracts. In 2009, the district authorities sold their interests in the company to a private company. The waste contracts with the district are due to run for several more years. However, the Commission considers that the change of ownership changes a key aspect of the contract and effectively means that there is a new contract award which should be opened up to tender.