A press release from the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington:
December 30, 2013
For the Jewish Funeral Practices Committee of Greater Washington
Contacts: Bob Hausman, 202-966-1545
David Balto, 202-577-5424
The Jewish Funeral Practices Committee (JFPC) of Greater Washington cautiously welcomes the Federal Trade Commission's proposed agreement with Service Corporation International (SCI) requiring them to divest Edward Sagel Funeral Directions in Rockville as a condition of allowing SCI to acquire the nation's second largest funeral services provider, Stewart Enterprises. The FTC clearly accepted the Jewish community’s argument that there was a competitive problem in the DC/MD Jewish funeral home market.
Unfortunately, the FTC proposed decision to require the divestiture of Sagel is the wrong remedy. The Commission should have required the divestiture of Hines Rinaldi because it is an effective competitor and Sagel is not. Sagel is basically a modest storefront, does not have a chapel or facilities to handle bodies, and its market share has fallen from 25% to about 11% in the past three years.