Funerals

The ABC's news website quotes University of Sydney academic Sandra van der Laan

I think there's a lack of competition when we've got one very, very dominant player and most of the competition that they face is small, family-owned businesses or much smaller operations,

Funerals are a $1 billion industry in Australia but she and fellow critics think, according to the ABC report, a lack of competition means customers aren't getting a good deal.

Invocare is a familiar name to many here. It is the giant behind nearly 40 brands, including White Lady, Guardian and Simplicity and a range of local providers.

It controls about one third of the funeral service market in Australia as well as multiple crematoria and cemeteries.

Dr Van Der Laan told The Business the dominance of Invocare made her nervous because of the type of industry they operated in.

"All of their consumers are always vulnerable."

Dr van der Laan said a basic funeral could cost as little as $1,200 but people were paying, on average $6,000, with the biggest slice going to the funeral director.

Read more at the ABC Newsite