Part 2 Consents
According to the complaint, SCI’s proposed acquisition of Stewart is likely to substantially reduce competition in violation of federal antitrust law in each of 59 local markets. The complaint alleges that each of these local markets for funeral and cemetery services is highly concentrated, and that the deal as proposed would eliminate direct competition between the two firms. The FTC charges that the proposed 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. The order also requires divestitures where the deal would likely affect competition related to specific ethnic and religious populations to ensure consumers in these communities will continue to have access to competitive funeral and cemetery services.