District of Columbia
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of Service Corporation International and Stewart Enterprises, Inc.; File No. 131-0163
As a resident of DC for the past 15 years, I am sincerely grateful for the time and effort that the FTC has put into the 'regional market' for funeral services that is the Washington area Jewish community, regarding SCI's merger with Stewart Enterprises. During our time in DC we buried both of my husband's parents, who lived on a limited income and really needed affordable funeral services. So, as senior citizens ourselves, we are really concerned about the coming merger. We hope you will consider the divestiture of Hines-Rinaldi, with which the JFPC has been working well for a decade now, rather than the small Sagel home. Hines-Rinaldi has specialized facilities for washing and dressing the body, which most funeral homes do not have, and which take some significant up-front investment to create. Ed Sagel, whose future independence from SCI was meant to be the guarantor of competition and affordable options, does not. As such, the divestiture of Ed Sagel -- which much appreciated, and a step in the right direction -- is not enough. With appreciation for all that you've already done, I join the chorus of voice surging you to go one step further: requiring the divestiture from SCI not of Ed Sagel, but of a full-service funeral home capable of meeting our community's needs, such as Hines-Rinaldi. Thank you.