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Senate questions possible anti-competitive consolidation of seed and agrochemical industries

| | September 21, 2016
Agent Smith (back) and Morpheus (front)
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

One of the biggest stories in agriculture right now is the jaw-dropping consolidation among companies that sell the world’s seeds, pesticides, and fertilizers.

. . . .

Both US and EU regulators have begun scrutinizing these proposed mergers closely. And, on [Sept. 20]… The Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing on “Consolidation and Competition in the U.S. Seed and Agrochemical Industry,” …

“To me, it looks like this consolidation wave has become a tsunami,” said Sen. Charles Grassley (R-IA). “When does the size of companies and concentration in the market reach the tipping point, so much that a market becomes anti-competitive?”

. . . .

At the Senate hearing, the companies themselves focused on the pro-innovation case for these mergers…

. . . .

At the hearing, Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute, laid out five big counterpoints to consider:

…[Moss’s message] is that competition is crucial for fostering innovation, as farmers have more choices and companies have more incentive to create the most appealing seeds and pesticides for them. Reducing this competitive dynamic is likely to swamp any benefits from increased synergies from mergers.

Grassley said… he wants these recent proposed deals to undergo special scrutiny…

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis. Read full, original post: Critics say that mergers like Monsanto-Bayer will stifle agricultural innovation. Are they right?

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