Already No. 1 in death care in North America, SCI expects by early 2014 to ingest the next-largest chain, Stewart Enterprises STEI, based in New Orleans. In one gulp, SCI will grow to 2,168 locations. If the $1.4 billion transaction gets antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission, the combined company would control some 15 percent of the U.S. industry, with much larger shares of prime markets in Florida, Texas, and California. In West Palm, a mecca for retirement and therefore death, the Stewart merger would add a ninth business to the SCI stable, translating to more than 60 percent of the local market.