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The Federal Trade Commission has given final approval to a consent agreement with Service Corporation International (SCI). The consent agreement settles charges that SCI's acquisition of Uniservice Corporation would substantially lessen competition for funerals and perpetual care cemetery services in and around Medford, Oregon. Under the final order, SCI is permitted to acquire Uniservice but must keep all of the assets and operations of Uniservice's Medford facilities -- two funeral homes, a cemetery, and a crematory -- separate from its own until they can be sold to a buyer approved by the FTC. The Commission's action makes the consent order provisions binding on the respondents.

SCI is based in Houston, Texas. Uniservice Corporation, the parent company of a group of funeral homes and cemeteries in Oregon and Washington, was based in Portland, Oregon.

The final order requires SCI to divest all of Uniservice's Medford facilities within 12 months to an FTC-approved buyer. If the divestiture is not completed on time, the FTC is permitted to appoint a trustee to complete the sale.

In addition, the order requires SCI, for 10 years, to obtain FTC approval before acquiring any interest in funeral homes or cemeteries in Jackson County, Oregon.

The FTC's Seattle Regional Office handled the investigation of this case.

The consent agreement was announced for public comment on March 1, 1995. The Commission vote to issue it in final form occurred on May 15, and was 5-0.

NOTE: Consent agreements are for settlement purposes only and do not constitute admission of a law violation. When the Commission issues a consent order on a final basis, it carries the force of law with respect to future actions by the respondents. Each violation of such an order may result in a civil penalty of up to $10,000.

A news release summarizing the complaint and consent agree- ment was issued at the time the Commission accepted the consent agreement for public comment. Copies of that release, the complaint and final order are available from the FTC's Public Reference Branch, Room 130, 6th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20580.

(FTC File No. 951 0012)

(FTC Docket No. C-3579)