Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that the Red Ventures’ $1.4 billion acquisition of Bankrate would likely harm competition in the market for third-party paid referral services for senior living facilities.
Red Ventures and Bankrate supply proprietary internet content and customer leads for a variety of industries. According to the FTC’s complaint, two of Red Ventures’ largest shareholders jointly own A Place for Mom.com, the largest provider of third-party paid referral services for senior living facilities. Competitor Caring.com, a subsidiary of Bankrate, is the second largest such provider. Other competitors comprise a much smaller fringe.
The complaint alleged that absent a divestiture, the transaction could have increased the likelihood that Red Ventures would unilaterally exercise market power and the potential for coordinated interaction between Caring.com and A Place for Mom. Under the terms of the order, the parties are required to divest Caring.com no later than six months after the acquisition takes place.
The Commission vote approving the final order was 2-0. (FTC File No. 1710196; the staff contact is Joseph A. Lipinsky, Northwest Regional Office, 206-220-4473.)
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