Cemetery Funeral Industry News

FTC Releases List of 91 Properties to be Divested In SCI/Stewart Acquisition

December 23, 2013

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FTC Releases List of 91 Properties to be Divested In SCI/Stewart Acquisition

Service Corporation International, the country’s largest funeral services provider, said Monday it has agreed to sell off 91 properties to resolve the Federal Trade Commission’s antitrust concerns about its acquisition of Stewart Enterprises, the second-largest funeral provider.

The announcement came as SCI, the dominant player in the U.S. funeral business, said it had completed the $1.4 billion deal, which is expected to give the company roughly 15 percent of the overall market and annual revenue of nearly $3 billion.

The FTC said it had worked with attorneys general from several states to examine how local markets for funeral and cemetery services would be affected by the deal and had found 59 communities in which the merger was likely to “substantially lessen competition.”

Each of those markets is highly concentrated, the FTC said, and the deal “would enable the merged firm unilaterally to raise prices charged to consumers in these local markets and would substantially increase the risk of collusion between SCI and the few remaining competitors in the affected local areas.”

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