In the Matter of Mars, Inc. and VCA Inc., File No. 171-0057 #00008

Submission Number:
Sonya Ricketts
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of Mars, Inc. and VCA Inc., File No. 171-0057
As an interested party that is directly affected by the proposal, I strongly object to the proposed divestiture of the Specialty Veterinary Hospitals. While I agree that the clinics should be divested, I disagree with the divestiture directly into the hands of fellow corporate owners rather than into private ownership by veterinarians. In the markets affected, there are few opportunities to purchase veterinary clinics in general, much less specialty veterinary hospitals. It is difficult at best, particularly in the greater Washington DC region. With the competition already established, it is even more difficult to start a practice from scratch. I, for one, have been searching for an established clinic to purchase in the greater Washington, DC area. Rather than these hospitals being sold directly to competing corporate owners, the clinics should be made available to the "general" public for purchase. Myself, along with my fellow veterinarians, should have the opportunity to purchase the clinics and take them private. In particular, the employed veterinarians of the clinics should have the opportunity to purchase the clinics. If the intent of the FTC is to promote competition, then taking the hospitals private is the best way to accomplish the goal. Transferring them directly to another corporate owner without providing the opportunity to others to purchase is only "quasi"-competitive.