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On Friday September 9, 2011, 1:30 pm EDT

NEW YORK (AP) — The waste disposal industry might get more consolidated, says Wunderlich Securities analyst Michael Hoffman, who wrote in a note to clients Friday that the industry could soon be dominated by a two-company “duopoly.”

Waste disposal already is dominated by four national firms: Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd., Waste Management Inc., Waste Connections Inc. and Republic Services Inc. But the industry could become even more consolidated.

Hoffman said Republic Services might buy Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd., which would cement a “national duopoly” between the newly merged company and Waste Management Inc.

That combination would give the two companies nearly 80 percent of permitted landfill capacity and more than 60 percent of disposal volumes in North America, Hoffman wrote in a note to clients.

Getting bigger isn’t always worthwhile for waste management companies, but a merger could make sense if the companies complement each other, Hoffman wrote. And it could be the most economical way for Republic and Progressive to square off against Waste Management.

Hoffman also said a duopoly would bring stability to pricing growth on local, regional and national levels.

Waste management companies’ shares somewhat less than the broader markets declined Friday:

– Progressive Waste Solutions shares fell 34 cents, or 1.6 percent, to $ 21.23 in midday trading.

– Waste Management fell 59 cents, or 1.9 percent, to $ 30.61.

– Shares of Waste Connections fell 46 cents, or 1.4 percent, to $ 33.62.

– Republic Services fell 71 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $ 28.29.

Yahoo! Finance: Waste Management Industry News

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