FTC Requests Public Comments on SCI’s Application to Approve Sale of Cemetery Assets in Maryland to Parkwood Memorial Association, Inc.

The Federal Trade Commission is currently accepting public comments on an application by Service Corporation International (SCI) to sell certain funeral and cemetery assets, as required under the FTC’s December 2013 proposed order settling charges that SCI’s acquisition of Stewart Enterprises, Inc. would be anticompetitive. In total, the proposed order requires the combined SCI/Stewart to divest 53 funeral homes and 38 cemeteries to ensure competition is maintained in 59 communities throughout the United States.

In the current application, SCI has petitioned the FTC to approve the divestiture of the business that includes the Parkwood Cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, to Parkwood Memorial Association, Inc., which is owned in equal part by Guy N. Saxton and John L. Yeatman.  Previously, on May 6, 2014, SCI filed an application seeking Commission approval of the proposed divestiture of Hillcrest Memorial Gardens in Annapolis, Maryland, and Pleasant View Memory Gardens in Kearneysville, West Virginia, to acquirers also owned by Saxton and Yeatman.

According to SCI’s current application, the Association, which was formed by Saxton and Yeatman to acquire the assets, will be a strong and effective competitor in the local market, and has the expertise to successfully operate the business it plans to acquire.

The Commission will decide whether to approve the proposed divestiture after expiration of a 30-day public comment period. Public comments may be submitted until July 17, 2014. Written comments should be sent to: FTC Office of the Secretary, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., N.W., Washington, DC 20580. Comments can also be submitted electronically. Copies of the application can be found on the FTC’s website and as a link to this press release. (FTC File No. 131-0163, Docket No. C-4423; the staff contact is Elizabeth A. Piotrowski, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-2623)

The FTC’s Bureau of Competition works with the Bureau of Economics to investigate alleged anticompetitive business practices and, when appropriate, recommends that the Commission take law enforcement action. To inform the Bureau about particular business practices, call 202-326-3300, send an e-mail to antitrust{at}ftc{dot}gov, or write to the Office of Policy and Coordination, Bureau of Competition, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Ave., SW, Room CC-5422, Washington, DC 20580. To learn more about the Bureau of Competition, read Competition Counts. Like the FTC on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to press releases for the latest FTC news and resources.

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