FTC Approves Final Order Protecting Pet Owners From Anti-Competitive Acquisition of Veterinary Services Clinics by Private Equity Firm
After a period of public comment, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settle charges that owner of veterinary clinic chains, JAB Consumer Partners, must divest clinics in California and Texas as a condition of its proposed $1.1 billion acquisition of rival clinic operator SAGE Veterinary Partners, LLC.
Private equity firm JAB is the parent company of two companies that operate chains of veterinary clinics providing general, specialty and emergency care – Compassion-First Pet Hospitals and National Veterinary Associates, Inc. advance notice of future acquisitions by JAB of specialist and emergency veterinary clinics.
First announced in June 2022, the complaint alleged that, as originally proposed, the acquisition was likely to be anti-competitive in three geographic markets for various types of veterinary care in Texas and California:
- In and around Austin, TXfor internal medicine, neurology, medical oncology, intensive care and specialized veterinary services in surgery, as well as emergency veterinary services would be harmed by the acquisition.
- In and around San Francisco, California, for specialized veterinary services for internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology and surgery, as well as emergency veterinary services would be harmed.
- In and between Oakland, Berkeley and Concord, California, for specialized veterinary services for internal medicine, medical oncology and surgery, as well as emergency veterinary services would be harmed.
The Commission’s vote to approve the final order was 5-0.