Judge blocks merger of nuclear-waste disposal companies

By RANDALL CHASE Markets Associated Press

A federal judge in Delaware has blocked a Utah-based nuclear waste disposal company from buying a Texas-based competitor.

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The judge on Wednesday ruled in favor of the U.S. Justice Department in an antitrust lawsuit aimed at blocking Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions' planned $367 million acquisition of rival Waste Control Specialists, based in Dallas.

The Justice Department filed suit in November, claiming that the proposed acquisition would combine the only two licensed commercial low-level radioactive waste disposal facilities for 36 states, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia.

The government argued that the proposed acquisition would lead to higher prices, lower quality service, and less innovation in the industry.