Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Service Corporation International and Stewart Enterprises, Inc.; File No. 131-0163 #00029

Submission Number:
00029
Commenter:
Marcia Goldberg
State:
Maryland
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Service Corporation International and Stewart Enterprises, Inc.; File No. 131-0163
The FTC was correct in recognizing that the merger of SCI and Stewart would harm competition in the Jewish funeral home market in the DC/MD area. However, the proposed remedy of requiring the divestiture of Edward Sagel Funeral Direction is wholly inadequate to protect competition in the market. Sagel is basically a storefront. It is wholly dependent on the SCI funeral home -- Danzansky -- for these services. If it is divested it is highly unlikely to remain an effective competitor in the market. Moreover, with the control of both Danzansky and Hines Rinaldi, SCI will still have the incentive and ability to deter the important competition provided by the Jewish Funeral Committee of Greater Washington contract. I urge the Commission to revise the proposed consent decree and require the divestiture of Hines Rinaldi. Hines Rinaldi allows us to perform a funeral according to Jewish law at a price that doesn't hinder people from following Jewish law.