Bankrate to Divest Caring.com After FTC Complaint

Bankrate, which owns Caring.com, has agreed to part ways with the senior living referral service in order to be acquired by Red Ventures, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced Friday.

The decision came after an FTC complaint that said the $1.4 billion acquisition, agreed to in July, would harm competition in the market for third-party paid referral services for senior living providers. Two of Red Ventures’ largest shareholders jointly own A Place for Mom (APFM), which is the largest provider of those services in the United States. Caring.com is the second-largest senior living referral provider.

Though there are other paid referral services for senior living communities in the U.S., those companies make up a much smaller portion of the market.

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The complaint alleged that the two Red Venture shareholders would have had the ability to sway management of Red Ventures and Caring.com. The transaction as first proposed would have made it easier for Red Ventures to unilaterally exercise market power and could have led to substantially lessened competition between the rival services, the FTC said.

Under the terms of the planned settlement, Red Ventures and Bankrate will divest Caring.com no later than six months after the acquisition and provide transition services to an acquirer, according to the FTC. The companies are also required to separate themselves from Caring.com’s confidential business information.

Bankrate first bought Caring.com for $54 million in 2014, while A Place For Mom was sold to new private equity owners earlier this year.

Written by Tim Regan

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