Veterinary service providers Compassion First and National Veterinary Associates (NVA) have agreed to divest facilities in three locations to MedVet Associates, to settle Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges that Compassion First’s proposed US$5 billion acquisition of NVA would violate federal antitrust law.
The FTC alleges that, as proposed, the acquisition would harm competition in three local geographic markets for various specialty and emergency veterinary services by eliminating close, head-to-head competition between Compassion First and NVA. In some markets, the acquisition would result in a merger to monopoly. The acquisition will increase the likelihood that Compassion First could unilaterally raise prices or decrease quality for specialty and emergency veterinary services, according to the complaint.
To remedy the proposed transaction’s anticompetitive effects, the order requires Compassion First and NVA to divest three clinics no later than 10 business days after the acquisition closes. The divestiture buyer, MedVet Associates, operates specialty and emergency veterinary clinics in other geographic markets and is well positioned to operate the three divested clinics.
Full Content: FTC
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