U.S. lawmakers say they plan to hold a hearing to examine a wave of mergers that could reshape the $100 billion global market for seeds and pesticides.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R., Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said multibillion-dollar deals between some of the agriculture sector’s biggest players could reduce competition and lead to higher prices for farmers at a time when farm income is projected to hit its lowest level in more than a decade.
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Mr. Grassley said the September hearing will aim to ensure that antitrust enforcers at the U.S. Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission are properly vetting the proposed deals. The hearing will seek to include seed companies’ “points of view,” though he said it was too early to say who would appear, and the committee also will examine the proposed deals’ potential effect on consumers.
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