Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Service Corporation International and Stewart Enterprises, Inc.; File No. 131-0163 #00057

Submission Number:
00057
Commenter:
Gidon van Emden
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 a storefront and lacks a chapel and adequate facilities to honor the deceased according to Jewish law and tradition. It is wholly dependent on an SCI funeral home -- Danzansky -- for these services. Its market share has fallen from 25% to 11% in the last three years. 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. Thank You, Gidon van Emden