WASHINGTON, D.C. — Red Ventures and Bankrate have agreed to a divestiture of Bankrate’s caring.com business unit as part of a settlement for Federal Trade Commission (FTC) charges against the two company’s $1.4 billion merger.
Red Ventures and Bankrate supply proprietary Internet content and customer leads to several industries, according to the FTC complaint. Bankrate’s Caring.com is the company’s wholly owned subsidiary and competes in the market for third party paid senior living referral services. Also according to the complaint, Red Venture’s largest shareholders jointly own A Place for Mom.com, the largest provider of those services and Caring.com being the second largest.
The FTC’s complaint stated Caring.com and A Place for Mom.com are each other's closest competitors who are competing for national and local business while other U.S. market competitors for third party paid referral services for senior living facilities make up a smaller part of the market.
According to the FTC, the two Red Venture shareholders could significantly influence management of Red Venture and Caring.com causing the company to unilaterally exercise market power.
Under the settlement, Red Ventures and Bankrate will divest Caring.com no later than six months after the acquisition and provide transition services to an acquirer. The FTC can appoint a monitor to check on compliance and the parties must also establish firewalls relating to Caring.com’s confidential business information.