Antitrust Lawyer Blog Commentary on Current Developments

DOJ INVESTIGATING MONSANTO

On January 14, the DOJ announced that it has opened a formal antitrust investigation of the soybean seed industry.

Monsanto announced that the DOJ’s Antitrust Division sent it a civil investigative demand (“CID) for information on the company’s soybean traits business after complaints that Monsanto was trying to limit access to push a new, pricier product instead.

Allegedly, seed dealers, Monsanto’s rivals, and others have complained that Monsanto was creating conditions, through contracts with seed dealers and other means, that would unfairly push farmers to buy its new Roundup Ready 2 Yield soybeans and away from the first-generation, lower-priced Roundup Ready beans.

The investigation is noteworthy because the DOJ has stated previously that it would start scrutinizing the agricultural industry and this investigation confirms that the DOJ intends to scrutinize these markets.


Andre Barlow

(202) 589-1834
abarlow@dbmlawgroup.com