Private monopolies versus public services
In early 2022, Veolia completed the acquisition (hostile takeover) of large parts of the business and contracts of its main competitor, Suez. The two French giants have dominated the global private water and waste management market, far ahead of all their other competitors, for years. They have been trying to expand the privatisation of these utilities internationally since the 1980s, often with the support of the French government and international financial institutions. They have succeeded in extending their reach, but they have also failed in many ways thanks to the vigilance of trade unions and civil society.