FTC Hears Jewish Group’s Concerns on SCI/Stewart Enterprises Merger
Five months into the Federal Trade Commission’s extended review of Service Corp. International’s proposed $1.4 billion purchase of funeral home rivalStewart Enterprises, staff from the agency and from the Maryland Attorney General’s office recently met with a group of consumers and rabbis to hear concerns about the deal’s effect on Jewish funerals in the Washington area.
The group is concerned that the merger will result in the cancellation of a contract between Stewart-owned funeral home Hines-Rinaldi Funeral Home and the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington. The group wants the FTC to require Hines-Rinaldi to be included in a package of divestitures the agency is expected to require as a condition of antitrust approval.
The committee negotiated a standard contract for funerals that offers several consumer protections and a lower cost. A lawyer for a Jewish group that is lobbying the FTC said Hines-Rinaldi’s traditional Jewish funerals cost 60% less and save consumers more than $500,000 annually compared with those offered by the two SCI-owned Jewish funeral homes, which hold a 60% market share in the Washington metro area.
On Oct. 31, staff from the FTC and the Maryland attorney general’s office took the rare step of meeting with more than 100 consumers and 13 rabbis from the Washington area to hear their concerns about the merger. The meeting was organized by the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington. The council is asking that the FTC require that as a condition of antitrust approval SCI divest Hines-Rinaldi, which provides over 230 funerals a year under the arrangement worked out with the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee, which consists of over 40 synagogues in the Washington area.
Antitrust lawyer David Balto, who represents the Jewish Community Relations Council in its efforts to convince the FTC to require the divestiture of Hines-Rinaldi, said the funeral home is a direct competitor to SCI’s two Jewish-focused funeral homes, and SCI will have no incentive to retain the contract worked out by the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee.
Latest posts by CDFuneralNews (see all)
- Free Live Webinar: How Will The 2018 Tax Laws Affect Your Funeral Home? - January 15, 2018
- Five EASY Tips For Your 2018 Marketing and a FREE ___!!! | DISRUPTu! 035 - January 15, 2018
- How to Keep Families Engaged on your Website - January 15, 2018
You may be interested
FBI Investigates Funeral Home Running “Remains Dealing” Side-BusinessJustin Crowe - January 15, 2018
The Federal Bureau of Investigation is checking into Sunset Mesa Funeral Home in Montrose, CO, where owner Megan Hess is…
MAJOR Facebook News Feed Changes and What They Mean For Your Deathcare BusinessRyan Thogmartin - January 15, 2018
Last week, Facebook made an announcement about MAJOR changes coming to the news feed algorithm. Watch this Facebook Live to learn how…
Free Live Webinar: How Will The 2018 Tax Laws Affect Your Funeral Home?CDFuneralNews - January 15, 2018
It’s a new year however a revision of the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act” (“TC&JA”) was signed into law December…