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FTC Approves Final Order Protecting Pet Owners from Private Equity Firm’s Anticompetitive Acquisition of Veterinary Services Clinics

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Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a final order settling charges that the 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 competing clinic operator SAGE Veterinary Partners, LLC.

Private equity firm JAB is the parent of two companies that operate chains of veterinary clinics providing general, specialty, and emergency care – Compassion-First Pet Hospitals and National Veterinary Associates, Inc. Under the terms of the final settlement, the Commission imposed robust prior approval and prior notice requirements on JAB’s future acquisitions of specialty and emergency veterinary clinics.

First announced in June 2022, the complaint alleged that as originally proposed, the acquisition was likely to be anticompetitive in three geographic markets for various types of veterinary care in Texas and California:

  • In and around Austin, Texas, for internal medicine, neurology, medical oncology, critical care, and surgery veterinary specialty services, as well as emergency veterinary services would be harmed by the acquisition.
  • In and around San Francisco, California, for internal medicine, neurology, ophthalmology, and surgery veterinary specialty services, as well as emergency veterinary services would be harmed.
  • In and between Oakland, Berkeley, and Concord, California, for internal medicine, medical oncology, and surgery veterinary specialty services, as well as emergency veterinary services would be harmed.

The Commission vote to approve the final order was 5-0.

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