Part 2 Consents
Service Corporation International (SCI), the nation’s largest provider of funeral and cemetery services,agreed to sell 53 funeral homes and 38 cemeteries to resolve FTC charges that its proposed $1.4 billion acquisition of Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (Stewart) is likely to substantially lessen competition in 59 communities throughout the United States. The FTC complaint alleges 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 proposed order settling the FTC’s charges requires SCI and Stewart to sell the 53 funeral homes and 38 cemeteries to Commission-approved buyers within 180 days, and also requires SCI and Stewart to sell certain related assets and property needed to ensure that the buyers will be able to fully replicate the competition that would have been lost if the transaction were completed as proposed.