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Senator Grassley concerned about agricultural technology mergers

Staff Writer |
Two major mergers in agricultural technology and seeds could hurt competition in the industry and make it harder for smaller companies to compete, Senator Charles Grassley (Rep-Io), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote in a letter sent to antitrust authorities.

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Grassley urged the Federal Trade Commission, which is reviewing the purchase of Syngenta by the China National Chemical, and the Justice Department, which is looking at the merger of Dow Chemical and DuPont, to coordinate on the two reviews.

"It is important that these transactions not be reviewed in isolation," wrote Grassley. "I urge the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to collaborate, as appropriate, with input from the Department of Agriculture, in their analysis of the agricultural biotechnology and seed industry and the impact of these proposed transactions."

"I am concerned that the convergence of these proposed transactions – as well as others currently being discussed – will have an enhanced adverse impact on competition in the industry and raise barriers to entry for smaller companies," he wrote.

"I also am concerned that further concentration in the industry will impact the price and choice of chemicals and seed for farmers, which ultimately will impact choice and costs for consumers. Finally, I am concerned that further consolidation will diminish critical research and development initiatives," added Grassley.

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